The re-release of Last Crack's 1989 debut, Sinister Funkhouse #17 ( Metal Mind Productions/Roadrunner Records) shows the completely raw energy of what was to come of this great, but seldom heard of Mid-Western band. Recorded at Prince's famed studio, Paisley Park in Minneapolis, Last Crack were able to make their heavy rock, groove laden, tongue in cheek humor into a reality. Silly song titles, in all. More on that later.
This reissue features 12 tracks in all, including 2 live songs. Funkhouse is first of all a very fun and loose record. Singer, only known as Buddo, makes sure of that. One of the claims to fame for Last Crack was the album/CD cover art for this debut. Back in 1989 this cover was very controversial. A fully naked Buddo in somewhat of an archery type of pose, did serve them well and caused a buzz for the band.
As silly and fun as Buddo is with his John Bush (Armored Saint/Anthrax) with a bit of Phil Lewis (Girl/L.A. Guns) themed vocals, guitar duo Don Bakken and Paul Schluter, play their guitar wizard roles as serious as a heart attack, filling this record with great solos and rifferage throughout. While the rhythm section of drummer Phil Buerstatte and bassist Todd Winger set the table for Last Crack's often intricate and groove filled Metal.
Last Crack obviously had a good sense of humor to go along with their musical chops. Song titles like "Gush Volcano Crush" and "Blood Brothers of the Big Black Bear" are not used if you can't back them up. And while cutting their teeth on this first major release, songs like "Slicing Steel", "Terse" and the down right funky "Saraboyscage" all show how diverse and menacing they are capable of being.
While recorded at a world class studio like Paisley Park, the production of this debut sounds just that, a debut. Very under produced, probably because they weren't given much of a budget to record with. Remember this was 1989 and not like today with the "Pro Tools" generation of making a million seller CD in your bathroom. The songs show promise, but the lack of production does take away from the overall product. See my review of Last Crack's 2nd CD for an idea of what was to come from these guys with a proper budget and stellar producer!
Last Crack is a band to check out. The songs on this debut don't sound dated, but the production does. So listen with an open mind. The talent is there, but unfortunately the lackluster production isn't. How I never knew about this band back in the day, I don't know. But thank god for re-releases! If you like bands like King's X, Mindfunk, Icon and Armored Saint then you should dig Last Crack.
- Good Mourning From The Funkhouse
- Gush Volcano Crush (G.V.C.)
- Blood Brothers Of The Big Black Bear
- Concrete Slaughterdogs
- Slicing Steel
- The Last Crack
- Thee Abyss
- Brothers Of The Big Black Bear (Live)
- Saraboyscage (live)