CD Review – Last Train Out

Central NY classic rockers Last Train Out have released their first CD. Built on a solid foundation of blues/rock tradition the tracks here sound immediately familiar, yet fresh and true to their roots. This traditional power-trio jumps over the pitfall of translating the strength of their live performances to the studio and onto their eponymous first release. Big guitars, pounding bass and thunderous drums blend under the smooth stories and real-life tales spun by bassist Lou Kaplan (formerly of Mad Jack and Savoy Brown). His band-mates Bob Bachta – guitar (Joe Whiting Band/Spider Murphy) and Al Macomber – drums (Savoy Brown/Mad Jack) join Kaplan on vocal duties stretching the abilities and overall sound to seem like much more than three guys rocking out.

On first listen I distinctly heard Bad Company (not a bad start!), then with each subsequent listen the deeper nuances came out, hitting their target squarely. These cats know where they came from and hold firmly to the traditions they learned over decades on the road. The twelve tracks featured here reflect all of the band’s roots, rock, blues, southern rock and more. Each of the band members are strong in their position, giving free space for each to step-up and shine.

There’s an instinctual groove happening here that’s reflected strongly in the opening cut, “Heart Of An Outlaw” right through the closer, “Last Train Out”. “You’re No Good For Me” is a straight up rocker with Bob’s guitar dancing over Lou and Al’s steady rhythm. Lou’s soulful vocals are consistently dead on, “Reachin’ For The Sky” tells yet another tale of the road, symptomatically. The words may form in his brain, but the song’s are straight from his life-experiences and hence, his heart. “Love Me In The Morning” is a solid homage to their signature sound with its “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love” rhythm riff, then Bob takes off into a solo and it’s all LTO!

“Too Complicated” is a classic “opposites attract” rocker that brings a little Skynyrd to the party, and a party it is. Another track that will likely see life on a live recording along with “Lonesome Hearted Stranger” with its ZZ Top, rave-up feel and relentless groove. Much like “Red Eye Sauce”, this song could pop-up in a Texas roadhouse and fit right in. Just enough twang in the vocal and plenty of attitude in the lyrics, it’s as if Lou is writing while sitting in that sketchy place. Completely comfortable, but with his head on a swivel for a thrown punch or bottle.

“Standin’ In Your Shadow” flat out rocks, Bob’s bluesy riffs bring it home once again, defining the sound of the band. It’s a great mix by Rob Hunter too, the guitars just slightly over the rhythm and below the vocals. “Sweet Addiction” is a great example of the producing team of LTO with Andrew “Duck” MacDonald and Rob Hunter and Dave Conway’s engineering. Deft touches by all on the sliders!

“I Don’t Want To Leave You” is like a Robin Trower rocker with swagger, a “I didn’t want to do it baby, but you made me” kind flip off. It expresses attitude in the same way “Burn One Down” expresses defiance, no apologies, no rules, it’s a lifestyle, like it or not. These guys have the balls and the chops to back it up, no need to lean on frivolous extras here.

The closer “Last Train Out” ends the disc with a fury that flows through the whole disc and a punch that’ll make you remember it. These guys have a long way to go on this trip and everything they need to take it much further. Check ‘em out on facebook and reverbnation. They have a new website in the works and are in the process of signing a management team to spring-board their careers. Stay tuned for much more from Last Train Out.

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