The Last Look

Never Stop Crossing Rubicons

By Julianna Clay

Some bands come up with a name by random selection, devise it through drunken epiphany, or select it based on the way the names sounds. Not The Last Look. Their name was inspired by a turning point in world history when Caeser and his men crossed the Rubicon River. Before the crossing, Caeser told his men, “Take one last look at home because after this it will never be the same,” which is how three of the members of The Last Lok felt when they left behind their older project for a new venture. Lead singer Godbout further explains, “The idea of being willing to take a risk that might change the world and the dramatic image of taking the last look at the world as you know it resonated with me and has since become a theme for my life, not just our music. So to me we had no choice but to name the band The Last Look.”

The pop-rock band got their start like many other bands two years ago when Paulie Godbout (guitar and vocals), Dago Marino (bass), and Josh Tomlin (drums) played in a band called Secret Sobriety. All of them decided after a number of years together that they wanted to go in a different musical direction and start something more creative and new. The band went through another guitarist (William T.) before they decided that that vision should include more piano and synth elements. Their friend Hayden Henderson filled in on keys before they finally settled on keyboardist Allison Martin in 2011. Marino said of Martin, “Allison has been a great addition to the band and really adds so much of her artistic presence to the music and visual aspects of The Last Look.”

Although Martin and Tomlin are the only ones with formal training (Martin started learning classical piano at age four, and Tomlin had guitar lessons), every member of The Last Look has been playing in bands for at least ten years. Ironically enough Godbout and Marino were in their first band together. Godbout remembers that they both showed up with the intention of playing bass. In the end they flipped a coin and that’s how he ended up playing guitar, “Then a few years went by and after we fired our singer I filled in until we found a replacement; we’re still looking for that replacement, ha!”

Instead of defining the band as a particular genre, Martin, Tomlin, and Marino describe the band’s sound simply as ‘good rock ‘n roll’. It’s Godabout who delves into the nitty gritty of their sound, describing it as something inspirational, electro, and Dub-Gaze-Core. “If The Replacements met U2 at a bar, wrote a bunch of ideas on a cocktail napkin, then borrowed Pearl Jam’s gear to try out what they’ve come up with, you’d have The Last Look,” he further elaborates.

As far as influences go for the project, all three band members mentioned—in no particular order—Ryan Adams, Michael Jackson, DGeneration, Pearl Jam, and The Replacements. Godabout claims that what sets them apart from their influences is that every member equally makes his or her own artistic contribution to the music. Godabout writes the lyrics, Marino keeps the rhythm going, Martin adds keys and estrogen, and Tomlin helps maintain a precise beat they can all play to. However, what Marino claims really makes the band unique is, “We really do strive to approach matters with a deal of depth. Whether a love song, a narrative about some aspect of life, or an anthem of emotion, we try to attack the subjects sonically and lyrically with something more than surface explanation or examination.”

The Last Look’s new EP, Sehnsucht, is all about life’s diverse depths and emotions. It was recorded in Rigby Road Studios with Joel Pack, who was able to capture and conceptualize all of the band’s crazy and beautiful ideas and concoct them into a finished, cohesive product.

Pack explains what he thinks of the album and the band, “I know the word ‘epic’ gets thrown around a lot, but after listening to their songs over and over again, it’s obvious that they write their songs to sound big, and, well…epic! If you’re into bands like U2 or Angels and Airwaves, I think you’d like them. They can get kind of Police-y too.”

“Breath” and “Pops” are two outstanding songs on the EP. Godabout describes “Breathe” as a sexy and cacophonous song made up of random noises like running power tools, crushing cans, and lighting matches and “ Pops” as a passionate song about breaking stereotypes and molds. Godabout reveals about “Pops”, “I wanted the song to feel like I busted into a church and screamed at the congregation and God and told them exactly how I felt. Joel helped us create an intro that sets that tone for the entire song which is a tribute to my dad who never stops crossing Rubicons.”

Sehnsucht is available for free download at bandcamp and their first EP is available at any Graywhale location near you. Both EPs can be also be purchased at every show, as well as some additional acoustic tracks, available for an appealing trade. Godbout declares, “Josh and I have tons of acoustic tracks that we’d be willing to give you if you bought us a few beers.”