The Last Man Of The 9th Michigan Infantry - Read Read Red (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Last Man Of The 9th Michigan Infantry

Read Read Red (2005)


The Last Man Of The 9th Michigan Infantry? Strike 1 for the aggrandizing band name. TLMOT9MI? Strike 2 for the possibly worst resulting acronym ever. And yet, the Last Man come back from an 0-2 count to produce the best thing I've heard released on a CD-R the entire year. Their Read Read Red EP takes the influence of classic screamo acts to create an intense, raw, and surreal 15 minutes of mood-swinging post-hardcore.

Influences as read off their Myspace page include Clikatat Ikatowi and Drive Like Jehu, and I'd be likely to agree if I was more familiar with those bands, as indications of City Of Caterpillar and early Hot Cross are assuredly running through my own mind, the latter especially noticeable in opener "Strawberry Lemonade," with a bouncy, low end-ish riff leading it. The vocals are usually employed with a yelled scream more or less; it's not quite ear-blistering, but it's intense, and there's a definite bit of "umph" behind it. Stumbling song title aside, "Last Breath The Canary The" is the EP's "epic" offering here at just under 4 minutes, closing with a cascading rush of detuned guitars and atmospheric balancing.

The packaging, a DIY cardboard digipak (or "terracota layout," as their one-sheet tells me) held closed by threaded string, is worth mentioning too. The figure on the cover looks a bit similar to Challenger's last effort, but there's enough orange and red and a "torn off" look to avoid further similarities. Read Read Red comes out of virtually nowhere to serve up a reminder that there are still genuine articles to the genre, and this is one that could be easily be front cover material given the time.

Strawberry Lemonade
Last Breath The Canary The

Long Reach Punch Coyote
Black Lung