Song of the Day

Latest God, “Latest God” (Life.Lair.Regret Records, 2021)

In hardcore terms, Australia has long been resource-rich. The latest comes as a co-release from the vanguard of OZ punk record labels—Life.Lair.Regret and Shortfuse Records of Melbourne and Sydney, respectively. The self-titled 7-inch from Latest God is, at long last, a sonic deity worthy of worship. 

Featuring hardcore mainstays Luke Dolan and Scott Dougall within its ranks, Latest God's altar of choice is a veritable who’s who of classic hardcore’s most venerated.

From 7 Seconds, Verbal Assualt, and Uniform Choice to DC punk’s most notorious summertime, Latest God pull from the heaviest of hitters but sidestep the dreaded genre exercise tag. It’s a wildly fresh take on melodic, mid-'80s harDCore from a band of lifers. 

The Song of the Day comes in the form of the self-titled lead track. It’s a pointed takedown of the deification of celebrity and the dreaded ludic loop that is social media’s hollow satisfaction. Musically, it’s exhilarating in much the same way it was when I first heard GIVE and Praise. Though not altogether similar sonically, it’s their clear reverence for hardcore’s hallowed halls that imbues the band with so much passion:

Much like Scott's previous band, Minute Minder, who actually get the cover treatment elsewhere on the EP, the guitars slash and burn with an '80s primal ferocity.

What ultimately sets Latest God apart, though, is the vocal delivery. I’ve heard the Mackaye and Dave Smalley comparisons bandied about, but Luke is pulling from far deeper wells. His vocals are up front and shouty, commanding and emotive a la Brian McTernan or Triggerman’s Joe Nelson turn in The Killing Flame.

Yet, Latest God’s members have been serving the Australian scene for decades now and the touchstones skew far more obscure upon subsequent listens. I hear more than a bit of Ignition and Revolution Summer’s unheralded heroes Rain, whose La Vache Qui Rit is a must hear. 

Australia rules these days. Alongside The Chain, Bust, Nerve Damage, and a gaggle of others; the current crop deserving of a dig. Look no further than the rad comps Close the Gap or This is Australia for proof.

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