Album Review: Last Great Dreamers – “13th Floor Renegades”
Last Great Dreamers’ second (or third, depending on who you’re asking) album, 2016’s Transmissions From Oblivion, was one of the surprise packages of that year. Taking the glammed up sounds of the 70s, adding a dose of Quireboys/Dogs D’Amour 80s stardust and bringing the whole package bang up to date with a modern spin on the genre, it showed that these veterans were putting all of their experience to good use.
Chucking out such a great album inevitably has consequences when it comes to the follow-up, as the bar is inevitably raised through expectation. However, as is the mark of a great band, on this evidence Last Great Dreamers make it look as easy as falling off a log. Like its predecessor, 13th Floor Renegades goes wading into a ferocious street brawl between the glam rockers and the punks circa 1977, and comes strutting out with a cocky grin clutching the most prized scalps from both sides.
Tracks like New Situation and the title track sound like some glorious cross between the glam stomp of The Sweet and the fizzed-up pop-punk of The Boys. However, beneath the sunny exterior there’s a real feeling of claustrophobia and paranoia on I Think I Like It and No Sunshine. Elsewhere, there’s the definite sound of a band spreading their wings and trying new stuff as evidenced by the countrified twang of For Your Information and Miles Away, and the almost psychedelic guitar sound of Broken Things.
By the time the six minute epic of Going Home with its blissed out extended outro (weirdly reminiscent of the old Four Horsemen classic I Need A Thrill / Somethin’ Good) finishes things, you’re left in no doubt that Last Great Dreamers have more than delivered on a decent follow-up to Transmissions From Oblivion here.
13th Floor Renegades is everything you'd want from Last Great Dreamers, and then some. Branching out and trying some new stuff, while keeping the core of what brought this band to the public's attention in the first place, it's a triumph of an album and one of the best I've heard this year so far.