[sic] Magazine

Last Of The Easy Riders – S/T

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James Fenimore Cooper wrote long and hard about The Last Of The Mohicans, an iconic people at home in their landscape, but one increasingly marginalised to the point of extinction by the times, which were – of course – resolutely and irrevocably a-changin’. Last Of The Easy Riders follow in this American tradition, four Rocky Mountain outcasts precariously holding on to a way of life not widely followed since Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper dropped in to a free-love commune en route to New Orleans. Consequently the band’s debut six-track EP doesn’t rev with the aggressive biker fuzz their name might originally conjure; filled instead with high-altitude hippy rock, it’s 60s-styled “southwestern psych” in which “four individual singwriters” (guitarist/vocalist Christopher Minarik, drummer Mitch Mitchum, bassist Daniel Duggan and guitarist Bradley T. Grear) come together with star-spangled guitars and vintage analogue production to create a retro record so convincing no-one would dream of questioning its provenance if unearthed as a lost time-capsule.

Most tracks capture the period’s popular brevity, too, the whole EP weighing in well under 20 minutes, a lengthy outro pushing the longest track up to a grandiose four minutes. Try as they might, though, Last Of The Easy Riders aren’t tied overly strongly to any one place or sound. “Pale Highway” is, for example, lightly countrified rock full of sepia-toned melodies that bring to mind a sun-bleached CCR cassette; “Blue Hurricane” is, in turn, Southern rock by way of The Byrds, “Low Country” a middling organ jam with strong choruses. Making the most of jangling guitars, “Sunshine Healing” conceals undulating West Coast guitars while the blown-out “Travelin Spirit” builds on the same sound, simultaneously taking it out to the Allman Brothers’ honky tonk, several solos setting the place alight. This track in particular has freedom stamped through it like a piece of candy rock, but it’s “Mystic Legend” that captures the open road best. Laid-back driving music, long hair rippling in the wind, it’s a golden dose of cosmic classic rock that chunners on about “the astral plain” as if the band truly were the last of a dying breed. The American DNA is too strongly enriched by this passage of history for it to ever fade away entirely, however, and with the Last Of The Easy Riders they’ve seemingly just found a new flag-bearer.

Best track: “Mystic Legend”

~Last Of The Easy Riders is released 28th October 2016 via Agitated on limited orange/white swirl vinyl.~

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