Although the Last helped ignite the L.A. punk and power pop explosion in the late '70s, for some reason, 25 years later, they remained nothing more than a beloved cult band. Still as passionate and brilliant as ever, Last leader Joe Nolte and brother/fellow Last member Mike Nolte then created Joe 'n' Mike, a remarkable and intimate acoustic album that features 11 unreleased Nolte originals that are equal to, if not better than, anything the band released since its debut album, L.A. Explosion, a quarter-century previously. Recorded over a five-day period in April 2003, the Nolte brothers concentrate on acoustic guitars but add the odd electric for emotional effect. Joe remains one of the best singer/songwriters to emerge from the original punk movement, mixing intense emotions with beautiful melodies, creating a style that is magical and truly unique. The brilliant "Difference" (originally from the unreleased 1980 album Look Again) has more depth in this acoustic setting and contains some of Nolte's best lyrics and chord changes to date. "Rain Town," "Someday I'll Have You," "Everywhere," and "It All Comes Down" are perfect additions to the Nolte/Last catalog with great melodies and haunting harmonies. Mike's gentle and beautiful "A Part of Your Soul (Pallbearer)" is the best track he's written and is certainly one of the highlights of the album. This Internet-only release is recommended for fans of the Last, fans of intelligent singer/songwriters, and fans of pop music in general. Do yourself a favor and discover the genius that is Nolte.
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AllMusic Review by Steve "Spaz" Schnee