FUNKY FRESH FUN The quartet is ready for the real world.
Damn you, Last One Out. Having revisited their early-'11 EP Double Whammy (free download at lastoneout.bandcamp.com), the breezy and bouncy alt/piano-pop hooks have once again thumbtacked themselves to my cortex. My receptors were seared by feel-good summer soakers like "Lifeshark" and the wheezing keys on "Lovin' Tonight." Beware, this Providence-based quartet (who just graduated from PC in May) is keeping it light — take it straight from their one-sheet: "We're college boys, we like to have fun, and we like to jam it out with some funky fresh beats." Add to that the fact that the band agreed to roll with the tag provided by a reviewer: "Waterslide Summer Rock."
"We had been struggling to find a genre to categorize and introduce ourselves for awhile, and when we read 'Waterslide Summer Rock,' we thought, 'Man, that's it, ' " said LOO manager/bassist Jeff Gahan.
Gahan, drummer Dustin Bailey, guitarist Scott Mesite (John Oates meets Steve-O?), and natural born bandleader Scott Royal (vox and keys) were all unabashed smiles and pogo-crazed when I first caught them a few months back at the WBRU Rock Hunt Finals; they won over the judges at the Spot Underground ("These guys seem to have the whole package," noted a fellow judge, "they're really having fun up there)" before losing to VulGarrity in the finals at the Met, but they had the audience from the jump (literally) when they kicked off with "Space Kangaroo." The campus groupie contingent down front was lathered up by Royal's hammy showmanship (one female fan held a pink posterboard reading: "Ladies Love Last One Out"), and Mesite got some licks in on "Red Cup" and the song "Last One Out" (both appear on Double Whammy). A pair of past Rock Hunt winners came to mind during the set — Johnny Lingo fans would love "Clap," while "Way Too Cold" and "Glue" (two tracks where Royal's vocals shine) recall Fairhaven's penchant for focused keyboard-driven numbers.
Prior to the competition, Gahan told me the band entered the Rock Hunt with the hopes of pursuing a musical career rather than joining the workforce: "We hope to take our music as far as we possibly can because it has been the only thing in our lives that has made sense thus far."
Gahan mentioned that the band will stick around the Rhody area for at least another year, booking gigs statewide to pay the bills. Admittedly, though, he says their brand of bubbly pop can be a tough sell around these parts.
"There are so many niches of great music within the Providence music scene, and it has been difficult for us to find our niche," he said.
"So far we have been limited to the college-aged group, specifically our alma mater," Gahan continued. "Stepping off the Providence College campus and into the real world has been both challenging and exciting as we try to establish ourselves.
"Up until May, our main focus had been school, but now that we are solely playing music, we are just beginning to devote all of our resources and attention to Last One Out.