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The Last Hard Men Self-Titled

By Frank Meyer, Contributing Editor
Friday, November 30, 2001 @ 2:30 PM


(Spitfire)

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giv This is a bizarre album from an even more bizarre collection of artists. The Last Hard Men was a short-lived group formed by frontman Sebastian Bach after the demise of Skid Row and featuring fellow musicians on the skids Kelley Deal (Breeders), Jimmy Chamberlin (Smashing Pumpkins) and Frogs guitarist Jimmy Flemion. Sound weird? It is. The band’s one and only album was recorded in 1997 but has been collecting dust on the shelves ever since and only now is seeing the light of day through Spitfire. The only commercial output the band ever made until this was a cover of “School’s Out” on the Scream soundtrack. So after such a long wait, is this sort-of super group really worth all the salivating? Ummm…well...

I gotta say, this album is among the most inconsistent releases I have ever heard in my life! Every single track sounds completely different from the last, and not in a cool, diverse, artsy kinda way either. Basically, half of this sounds like Breeders style alterna-pop and the other half sounds like later-day Skid Row, all heavy and no hooks. “Sleep” starts things off in a Pantera kinda way with Bach screaming his nuts out over some detuned riffing. Then we get the Cooper cover that, the way they do it, is just wrong. Deal sings lead vocals on the title track, which sounds about as outta place on a Bach-affiliated album as one could possibly imagine. Go make a mix tape with the Skid's “Frozen” and some Bjork and you’ll get the idea. Intercut between songs are distorted interviews with each band member where you can’t make out a word of what the hell anyone is talking about. What the hell is going on here????

I know that this musta seemed like a good idea at the time, but most things do after the fifth bong hit. I guess for Bach this gives him a bit of artistic credibility, while for Deal this provides some much needed rock stripes. But for the audience it’s just a big fat question mark.

**


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