Last Target

One Shot, One Kill

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Teeming with no-nonsense two-chord, often one-minute punk passion, Japanese group Last Target is the brainchild of founder and singer Ryoko. And she is the proverbial straw that stirs this fun yet hellacious band that delivers "Truth for You" as if it were Björk fronting Rancid, with Ryoko's mastery of English still a slight work in progress. A few tracks are in Japanese, including the aptly titled "Tokyo Memories," which ends with some rat-a-tat-tat drumming. You can't deny the intensity and solid arrangements that create a friendly punk rock vibe along the lines of Dropkick Murphys or Flogging Molly sans the Celtic flags. The swinging old-school punk of "Don't Shine Your Boots With a Half-Baked Will" could be influenced directly from Rancid's Life Won't Wait masterpiece. Last Target keep the momentum with another tight but infectious "Gods Gamble" and a punishing "You're My Disillusion." The group know what works for them and rarely stray from this fist-pumping punk realm that would see groups like Green Day and Social Distortion take Last Target under their experienced wings. Other tracks are boogie-heavy such as the shin-splint-inducing "Tube Baby" and "Teaching." The highlight has to be the flurry of guitars and rhythm oozing out of the gear-changing "Toss & Turn." The homestretch features a few expanded tracks like the slow but steady power punk ballad "Ikuji," which resembles Weezer. Overall it is a very consistent and convincing punk rock record.

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