Our Last Night is probably not an unfamiliar name to those of you reading this. It is safe to say to that since the release of Oak Island and their numerous covers of popular songs, they have practically become a household name among people who pay attention to the alternative scene. Hell, they even got noticed by the popular media with their cover of Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse”, a cover that was infinitely better than the original. Most people assume they’re a pretty new band to the scene. Joke is on them. Our Last Night released their debut album The Ghosts Among Us in 2008. I remember seeing them marketed as being similar to Underoath and Silverstein; two bands that I have loved for a very long time. So logically, I decided to buy the album and proceeded to fall in-love with their music.
Six years later they announce the release of an acoustic version of Oak Island. The band had already turned to a slightly heavier route on that EP, so it surprised me that they’ve now opted to create an acoustic version of the EP. Nevertheless, I decided to pursue the EP as I was intrigued to hear what acoustic versions of the songs would sound like. The vocal harmonies of Trevor and Matt Wentworth have always been brilliant and this acoustic EP just shows that to its fullest extent. It also helps that they have both grown out of the piercing, high-pitched vocals they had on their debut album, which may have worked alongside unclean vocals and heavy instrumental set-up, but would have made for painful listening on this acoustic EP.
I have said it before and I’ll say it again, acoustic albums are some of the most challenging to produce based on the fact that you need to hook your listeners while you’re armed with very little except your voice (or voices) and acoustic guitars. This isn’t much of a challenge for Our Last Night seeing as they have their name and the popularity they’ve gained backing them. It helps that people love hearing acoustic versions of heavy songs. When I say heavy, I don’t mean heavy in the metal sense, but by the standards of rock music Our Last Night is a relatively heavy band.
They take songs that previously had a heavy twist to them and strip them down to their bare bones. If you thought that Oak Island was a bit of an emotional EP then prepare yourself for a wave of raw emotion to wash over you during Oak Island Acoustic. The Wentworth brothers manage to inject even more emotional feeling into their execution of the songs while they’re armed with only an acoustic guitar. “Dark Storms”, which was an anthemic post-hardcore track at heart becomes a tragic account of somebody who has hurt everybody around them. “I’ve Never Felt This Way” still has the triumphant, fist-in-the-air feel to it. The same can apply to the rest of the songs on this EP.
The original emotional impact of the songs are kept intact, but are overlain by an incredibly raw and intimate feeling, which make the songs even more relatable. “Sunrise” becomes an even more tragic plea for you to never consider suicide and to remember to keep fighting on. Our Last Night adds a bit of a bonus to the EP as well by throwing on new material in the form of “Falling Away”. It is a hauntingly beautiful song. It is a song about Matt not wanting somebody to give up on him while he is away on tour with the band.
Quite simply: what Our Last Night has proven with Oak Island Acoustic is that they’re a band of numerous talents. They are capable of producing a mish-mash of alternative rock and post-hardcore and then turning into cathartic acoustic music. They are a band that has an incredibly bright future ahead of them.