This British nine-piece announces its intentions early on this, their debut album. It starts with “Variation”, a short instrumental that could easily have been the main theme of a Michael Cimino or Brian DePalma film from the ’70s. This is a band with a penchant for the artifice of the silver screen and the theater – the latter being especially true from the looks of the burlesque type photos from their live performances. Each song on this album sounds as if it were written with a piece of musical theater or scenes from the band’s favorite movies in mind.
There’s something to that intentional artifice, though. While most acts like to pretend that they are “aw shucks” everypeople that just happened upon some instruments, the members of Last Man Standing are playing up the fact that they are playing roles for their fans and their listeners. They want to inhabit the roles of rock stars.
Wisely, they take their inspiration from that most theatrical of genres: glam rock. Songs like “The Dean Street Stumble” and “The Climb” have that loping barrelhouse piano at the center of whining slide guitar with huge swells of emotion rising up in the center. Others – the epic “Go Home” and the space station guitar driven “Bar Room Floor” – do The Full Bolan and The Full Bowie, respectively.