Maniac Squat (label)

30 November 2018 (released)

09 January 2019

Last Day Sect describe themselves as an Art-Rock band and throughout this 12 track album you definitely hear a very studied take on music and poetry. However, unlike many bands – especially from the eighties – who were in the same sphere, Last Day Sect actually put a strong measure of emotion and feeling into their music. The end result isn’t perfect but it makes for an excellent listen and I found myself going back many times to check out different chapters of the novel.

The band themselves are all experienced musicians – Paul Puddeford (vocals, guitar, keys, bass, drums) was previously with Ian Hunter, Steve Harley while Tom Wilcox (vocals) was in Lisa Ronson’s band and Terry Edwards (baritone sax) was previously with Polly Harvey & Gallon Drunk.

The album itself is a concept album touching on many of the gothic writers and themes – writers such as Edgar Allen Poe or HP Lovecraft of William Beckford, even the Marquis De Sade – but sometimes the concept is a little obscured by the ‘cleverness’ of the writers and musicians; I suspect a certain amount of crypticism but without the decryption key.

All that though still doesn’t detract from some fine songs and playing. The musicianship is excellent and the music paints some dark and malevolent moods – never more so than on ‘Black Candle’ or ‘Justine’ or opener ‘The Rats In The Walls’ - as well as some fine rock. My favourite number is ‘Mesmer’ where they really capture the mood of danger lurking behind every corner.

Not perfect but a fine example of something that is different and created for its own sake rather than to appeal to the mass.