On the Last Day - Wars Like Whispers (Cover Artwork)

On the Last Day

Wars Like Whispers (2005)


Seattle's On the Last Day are one hell of a surprise. A quick glance would lead you to believe this band is merely mimicking Aiden. They're both from Seattle and Aiden's wiL Francis has a cameo on their first track, "To Feel the Rain," though he doesn't have a prominent part. However, unlike Aiden, On the Last Day doesn't fall into this scene's traps as often. First off, the band's image isn't as laughable as Aiden's is. Also, the lyrics, while still nothing noteworthy, aren't the unbearably clichéd lyrics that appear on almost every song by bands like Aiden and My Chemical Romance.

Musically, this stuff is rather shallow. I can see why the kids will eat this up, but there really isn't much to the product. For a self-released album, the production is actually really good. While the instrumental work isn't that bad, the production values help the listener forget that a lot of the songs lack depth, relying on the same distorted guitar work on the verses, with a touch of melody on the choruses. So while On the Last Day is talented on their instruments, they can't seem to step it up enough to craft an interesting experience. Besides a few bursts of worthy guitar noise, like the verses on "Storm Covered Ceilings," this is definitely an area in need of improvement.

The vocals also start off pretty weak, with Geoffrey's shouting being as cookie cutter as you can get. However, the singing on the album is top notch. It's not whiny like a majority of the emo bands today and it's not hilariously out of tune like Francis. The singing actually turns the forgettable screamo verses into a rather catchy product that should draw in a decent following. Just check out "Fragile by Design" and "The Black Ashes of a Bridge to Tomorrow" for perfect examples of the over-par clean vocals launching pointless songs into a catchy experience.

I had a bad feeling when I decided to listen to War Like Whispers, but On the Last Day surprised me enough that I actually enjoyed a majority of the album. Sure, it's nothing to write home about, but it's a nice EP to listen from time to time. Sadly, these bands have a tendency to water down their sound and heighten their scene appeal when they finally release their full-lengths on an actual label. I haven't yet heard On the Last Day's Meaning in the Static (released last October), but hopefully they've simply crafted a set of catchy, overachieving songs on it, because likely that's all I can ask for.