www.ncfcatalyst.com Online Exclusive
By Caitlyn Ralph for the Catalyst
Many teenagers dream to front a rock band, sign to a record label, and tour the world with their friends. Few actually do. Wunderkind Trevor Wentworth signed to Epitaph Records at just 13 years old. Since then, Wentworth’s post-hardcore outfit Our Last Night has managed to release five records, tour relentlessly, and drastically evolve, culminating in their latest and most impressive album, Younger Dreams.
Only in their early to mid-20s, Our Last Night celebrated their tenth anniversary last summer while co-headlining a tour with Tampa-natives Set It Off. They entered the studio a couple months later to record Younger Dreams, a cornerstone album that marks a new beginning for group of guys who clearly don’t know life outside of a band.
After their third album Age of Ignorance, Our Last Night left Epitaph and entered the DIY music scene with Oak Island, a lengthy EP that could be the soundtrack to a movie. Evident by persevering lyrics, a strong new sound, and Wentworth tweeting “I’M FREE!!!… I’m not on a label anymore,” Our Last Night were thrilled to take full control of their music-making process. “My sense of direction has been gone for so long, and they say it’s a battle that can be won,” Wentworth sings on the track “Same Old War,” relaying how their creativity was dampened with confusion and struggle under the label.
By eliminating many screams and capitalizing on the symbiotic partnership between Wentworth and his older brother Matt’s vocals, the band crafted a pristine post-label image, one that was refreshing and accessible to a wider audience. To stay active in between Oak Island and Younger Dreams, Our Last Night uploaded rock covers of Top 40 songs, everything from Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” to Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive,” allowing the Wentworth brothers to experiment with varying amounts of clean and unclean vocals. The results were tens of millions of YouTube views, “A Summer of Covers” EP, and a perfected new sound.
However, through all this triumphant success, it’s easy to forget that some of the band’s members were just surpassing 20 years of age. Younger Dreams’ lyrics reflect on growing up too quickly and losing sight of what’s important. “I’m digging deep, but I’m scared I lost my younger dreams,” the title track admits after begging, “take me back to revive my memory.” Songs like “Younger Dreams” and “Living Now” represent a lot life lived in a very short amount of time. The music video for “Road to the Throne,” just released last week, shows Trevor, Matt, bassist Alex “Woody” Woodrow, and drummer Tim Molloy failing in multiple day jobs before victoriously coming to play a show, relaying that music is what each member knows best.
By eliminating many screams and capitalizing on the symbiotic partnership between Wentworth and his older brother Matt’s vocals, the band crafted a pristine post-label image, one that was refreshing and accessible to a wider audience.
Now a father, Trevor often addresses the heartbreak he suffers leaving his family for tour. “Home,” one of the most powerful tracks on the record, chronicles “the ways those eyes look at me as I’m about to leave,” before asking, “I hold you close, can’t you see that I just want to stay with you?” It seems the music video for “A World Divided,” illustrates, among other themes, the distance Trevor, a touring, fully tattooed, hardcore singer, feels from the typical “dad” stereotype.
The breakdown in “A World Divided” features Trevor screaming “we need to break the cycle of hate.” Questioning “have we really strayed this far from love?”, Younger Dreams frequently highlights cognizant and hopeful lyrics, adding to Our Last Night’s maturity gained in the past decade as a band.
One of the most subtle, but nicest, aspects of the record is its cyclical nature. Beginning with a smooth, strong intro, the last track ends with a melody of Younger Dreams’ highlights, such as the chorus of “Younger Dreams” and the bridge in “A World Divided,” condensing the album into a complete and satisfying listening experience.
The standout tracks are “Prisoners,” “A World Divided,” “Younger Dreams,” and “Forgotten Souls.” The commanding opener “Prisoners” contrasts might and grace, the heavier “A World Divided” pairs powerful lyrics and an equally powerful breakdown, the idyllic title track boasts a beautifully melodic chorus, and the alluring ballad “Forgotten Souls” showcases maturity in both songwriting and musicianship. Creating what can be described as ‘pop-hardcore,’ Our Last Night match incredibly catchy choruses and anthemic sing-alongs with hard-hitting screams and ambitious breakdowns in a juxtaposing yet nimble manner.
Our Last Night is continuing their new chapter as an independent band with impressive lyrics, vocals, and instrumentals, proving that the constantly underrated band is in store for a breakthrough second decade.