The Last Call Brawlers- The Pressures of Living, The Darkness of Dying
When an artist creates a record exemplifying their respective genre, you have a classic album. When that artist boldly steps over that genre to deliver a unique sound, you have an album that will stand the test of time. The Last Call Brawlers have crossed many lines in the sand with their diverse new album, The Pressures of Living, The Darkness of Dying. The forthcoming effort of a beloved Tucson band is a solid punk-rockabilly album. It's their ability to draw from a wide pool of influences that make it a success.
The Brawlers have been a staple in Tucson's music scene since 1999, earning a loyal fan base and five Tamies along the way. Keeping their success in mind, their greatest accomplishment is a toss up between their new album and their inspiring humbleness in my eyes. Each band member takes their own life experiences and creates a song so genuine that we feel like we were right there with them. The quartet, made up of vocalist Marty Muerto, guitarist Justin Valdez, Eric Eulogy on bass, and drummer Joel Dunst, have gone into some emotional territory for our great benefit.
“That’s what the Last Call Brawlers are- the humbleness of it all. Personally, I know each of us is the best at what we do. I'm just hoping everyone else knows what I know. We have a saying, that we are a band by the people, for the people,” says Justin. Joel adds, “We put ourselves into these songs. I just want someone to take something from it. Maybe think about their life and how they can change.”
The band's deep desire to share the human experience is evident in the album's ten tracks. No life lesson goes uncovered. Through punk, folk, surf, rockabilly, metal, and Tucson sound we get to think about break-ups, death, loving memory, and life- for all its up and down's. Marty explains it as, “its just an outlet. Its a way for us to channel our energy, whether its positive or negative. Chanel it in a positive way and if people like it, that’s an added bonus.”
Joel adds, “Its a good way to get out there. Look at some of our songs. They are about break ups, death, dying, its a way to carry on. Life. That's one of my biggest influences.”
The Pressures of Living was created in a process true to the openness and spontaneity of everyday life. “If you're gonna do something, do quality. One day, Marty showed up with lyrics and we wrote music. Joel had lyrics for a song. I wrote one song. We all definitely put in our two cents. The way the songs turned out are ninety-nine percent how we wanted them,” Justin told me. “There were times we didn’t rehearse. We just sat in the living room with acoustic guitar and lyrics. That works. That doesn’t work, change it here, change it there,” Joel said of their rehearsals. Speaking on the vocals, Marty adds, “Its very easy for me and Eric. Our voices kinda mesh well together. Sometimes I’ll listen and say who was that Eric or me? We have distinct voices and when we start to harmonize, a lot of that comes really natural.”
Though each track has something relevant and unique, “1/20” and “Six String Rhyme” stood out. “1/20” was said to be one of the most difficult songs to complete. After reworking it in the studio multiple times, they created the most intimate song on the album. Justin learned mandolin for this song, written by Joel about the passing of his brother. “Six String Rhyme,” the catchy track about the power of tunes over violence, contains the lyric that became the title of the album.
The Brawlers have been away from the stage for nearly a year while they poured their hearts into their milestone album. So, if you are one of the Last Call Brawler's many anxiously awaiting fans, be sure to arrive early to the release party, this Saturday night at the Surly Wench.
“When we play a show its every four or six months and its well promoted. There's a reason for it. We bring a lot of bands that are up and coming and we are gonna give them a shot. Diversity. Each band at this show is not like the other bands,” Justin says of their special guests, The Besmirchers and The Misson Creeps.
There are certain bands that come into our lives that speak to our personal existence. The Last Call Brawlers created a pocket album in “The Pressures of Living, the Darkness of Dying.” Carry it close to you and flip through the tracks until you inevitably find that song that speaks to the place you're in. Whether it is that foreboding car ride to work or a toast with our loved ones, The Last Call Brawlers have a song just for the occasion.
The album will be available through Itunes, Toxic Ranch, 17th st Market, and Zia Record's after May 5th.
About the Author
My name is Jamie and inspiration flows into my heart from all around me. The world has been good to me and shown me the language that breaks all barriers, music. After all the good music has done for me, it's time I gave back to music. So, I write. I write because its the best way I know how. I write because I gotta get all these thoughts out of my head. I write because I want you to hear it. I write to say thank you to a song that spoke to me. Music journalism is the perfect combination of my driving forces in life. Creativity, emotion, joy, and love.
I will be returning to school to pursue a degree in Journalism with a minor in communications. When I'm not reviewing shows or picking the brains of Tucson's talented musicians I write about bloody, disgusting, and wonderful horror movies on my blog Girl on Gore. Be afraid, be very afraid! I spend the rest of my time selling people great produce at 17th St. Market and enjoying an optimistic, simple, beautiful, life. Though I grew up a choir girl, singing in the Tucson Girl's Chorus for 7 years, I listen to all varieties of music.
If you see me at one of our great shows in this town, come on over. Talk to me, dance with me. Lets have a good time. Lets live this life to the fullest and lets turn up the volume so our soundtrack fills the desert night.