Latterman – We Are Still Alive…

By Spud

That Latterman sound. It’s infectious. They say you shouldn’t change a winning formula and, well, you could say it’s back.

We Are Still Alive kicks off where No Matter… and Turn Up… left off: Latterman rocking out like it’s going out of fashion, as we now all expect of them. However, opening track ‘Water Manes at the block’s end’ is weak. There’s no other word for it. Second track ‘Mumbled words and ridiculous faces’ gets things back on track, but I’ve quite rightly heard everyone raving about number 3, “I decided not to do them”, in the last couple of weeks. It’s easily one of the top 3 songs they’ve ever written and epitomises the Latterman friends-and-punk-rock anthemic vibe.

Latterman are at their best when they build into a crescendo of noise at 110mph that literally puts the tingles down your spine. Although this record does it for me quite a few times, it doesn’t quite manage it as many times as their first 2 albums. But what makes this album so difficult to assess is that just when you’re thinking “well, I was hoping for slightly more”, a track like ‘We work the nightshift’ comes along – another which, alongside, track 3, has made a beeline for the top of the Latterman tower. It’s also indicative of how they can also pull off the slower, almost ballad-esque tracks without comprising on what makes them so great.

I’ve agonised over this for a while, but when it comes down to it, I think that this is ever so slightly inferior to the first two albums. On the surface, it ticks all the right boxes: singalong vocals, catchy choruses, trademark vocal delivery and that Latterman guitar sound; but the overall impact of the album is slightly lessened by the fact you know that they’ve taken it up another notch on their other CDs. Is this a bad album? Hell no. And I can almost (but not quite) justify giving it a 4, but there’s a slight nagging in the back of my mind which is holding me back.

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