Lose Yourself Here

Last Train – The New Wave of French Rock

Described as being part of the new wave of French music, the garage rock, blues and alternative band from a small village in Alsace, France are taking the music scene by storm. Associated with acts such as Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (who they opened for), Band of Skulls, Jack White and Queens of the Stone Age, the band’s release of their debut album ‘Weathering’ in 2017 have made them regular names on festival lists nationally. This young band has stomping, distorted guitars, cracking vocals and crashing cymbals, all packed up into a debut album that screams rock as well as nice melodies accompanied with a variety in song structure.

Believe it or not, the band started back in 2005 when the members were young, consisting of Antoine (drums), Jean-Nöel (guitar, vocals) and Julien (guitar), before a couple years later Tim (bass) joined the group. Deciding to pursue this on a serious basis in 2014, they decided to set up their own label, Cold Fame Records, and touring agency, Cold Fame Booking, which saw the release of two EPs, ‘The Holy Family’ (2015) as well as ‘Fragile’ (2016). This enabled the guys to take full creative control of promos, videos and the general direction they took, proving to people that they had what it takes to rock. These EPs saw the release of some defining tunes such as ‘Fire’, with its melodic verse before exploding into an array of stumping, distorted guitars including a change of tempo mid-way and an ending with screeching vocals:

Their debut album ‘Weathering’ (2017) was licensed under the big French record company Barclay, and its steaming with various rock tracks that reflect the energy you see when they perform on stage, reminding auditors that you don’t need to be from the US or UK to rock your socks off in English. From their EP ‘The Holy Family’, we can see that there is a brotherly bond with the group who through their influences, are contributing piece by piece to every track they make.

“Way Out” has touches of grunge/hard rock at the beginning, with the guitar resembling Queens of the Stone Age which assembles into an Oasis like melody through the vocals and reverb effects.

“House On The Moon” is one of my favorite tracks, the chorus has dreamy and god-like harmonies that make you envision exactly what the title suggests – a house on the moon. From there, the song travels through different structures that keep you gripped until the big change at 3:36 where it all erupts into the energy and rock that Last Train is known for.

“Between Wounds” screams garage rock from its first breath, with its upbeat tempo, catchy chorus and smashing cymbals as well as guitar on 2:18 which I can only imagine creates madness when played live.

Like I mentioned earlier, their live performances are full of energy and so are their songs which has caught them a lot of attention, especially mine. Not only are these guys young but everything so far has been led by no one else but themselves, showing not only their talent but ambition to rock. I really enjoyed going through their debut album since they show varieties in how they structure their songs as well as melodies, they also stay true to their hard rock roots on songs like “Never Seen The Light” and “Between Wounds” but can bring a lighter touch to them like in “Jane”, “Golden Songs” and “Sunday Morning Son”. Their ability to switch up dynamics, to use different textures on certain songs such as psychedelia and acoustics whilst packing it all onto this debut record, it doesn’t surprise me that they’re getting attention.

‘Weathering’ contains strong hints of potential but it’s different influences are felt (especially the last 4 songs), which shows the band is still coming to terms as to what sound and direction they could potentially take. Nevertheless, this is a debut album for a young band which has entirely taken charge of its future, they’re electric, they’ve got energy and they’re screaming rock out to the rest of Europe. Give the record a listen and look-out for them in the future because my god, what an explosive entrance they’ve made onto the French music scene.


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