CD Review: Last Chance Runaround — Alter Idem; Playing CD Release Party @ Alcove Gallery, February 27
Turtle’s Pace Records
By Leila Regan-Porter
First impressions are not everything. A glance at Last Chance Runaround’s record Alter Idem evokes ideas of folksy Celtic rock, which is cemented by the image of Sue Volkert (one half of the LCR duo) with her beautiful harp on the back cover of the CD. Yet this record is full of surprises, and deserves a listener’s devoted attention, leaving few disappointed.
The afforementioned delicate harp, for instance, ends up adding to the affable tweeness of it all, instead of sounding cheesy. Its delicate plucks balance out the college rock vibe, bringing a lightness to the mulling-over style of the jangly guitar on tracks like “Oddly Enough” and “Lonely More.” Singer Scott Roberts’ slightly-nasal vocals end up being comforting and warm and far from grating. He echoes those ’80s-era Athens bands who dominated the college radio airwaves in days long gone, with a shade of the amiable heartfelt baroque pop that Teenage Fanclub had flooding music nerds’ rooms the world over.
Which isn’t to say this music is a throw-back to an era that is past. Yes, it is a shade nostalgic, but the likely reason is that this record has been a long time coming, with songs dating back to previous projects, including a few covers of ’80s jangle-pop band Winter Hours and “The Sun Came Down,” though all these recordings are new. In that aspect, this album is more like a long journey than a moment in time, and it reflects all the eras that it has had to pass though to be here.