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Post Punk Single Review: "Cycles" by The Last Years

Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.


The Last Years’ Cycles mingles powerful guitars, pounding drums and expressive vocal performances to explore deep emotion. Thunderously driving drums rush forward along with an expanding, nasal-sounding synth to start the song. Surging, lacerating guitars growl behind elevated chimes as the urgent drums press on.

Both Drew Gowen and Aaron Flanary's voices are full of resonant expression, intertwining and complementing one another. The vocal melody mingles strength and pain as the guitar leaps in gritty, slicing notes. Drums shatter and rush while the guitar cries out with guttural energy.

Drew Gowen and Aaron Flanary capture the lyric's emotion in their vocals as the guitar storm roars and high notes sparkle distantly. Twanging guitar carries a solo with a melancholy tinge and the two vocalists create deep feeling as the drums drive on. Now gruff guitar snarls again and a tide of drums and bass washes below the stormy power above it before the music ends.

Our storyteller begins as he says that it is “enough to bring about the end” with a “closer love” in mind. He talks about following down the wire and shaping “the fire” before the flames grow dim and are “just bleeding out the night.” He talks about crying with the song’s subject and wondering if it’s “enough to find the life we left behind. He asks,”Are we enough?

The narrator speaks about being overhung by a “constant state of doubt and worth” again leading to the question about being enough. He talks about the way in which “outside grows tired with each breath” and moments that “howl for life” to break the quiet. At the end of the day there are “crooked smiles and broken bones”which are just “more of the same.”

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