Themes of hard work, reckless behavior, lost love, and acceptance dominate Avenue Kings’ new EP in true Springsteen-inspired fashion. The Philly rockers open with an ode to blue collar blues on “The Graveyard Shift” where Jack Devine (vocalist/songwriter) maintains: “I’ll give it all my sweat and I’ll give it all my blood” but refuses to let it be his demise. Next, they sing of “breaking all the rules” on “Some Kind of Miracle”, a sentiment that has become somewhat of a cliche but it’s still fun to sing along to. “Stand My Ground” is driven by a catchy guitar riff and lyrics about unwavering committment in contrast to the closing title track which details all the narrator has given to his lover only to receive little in return but has finally mustered up the courage to walk away with a proud last laugh. Overall, Last Laugh is a catchy EP that presents solid, story-driven alt-punk. The only downfall is the band’s sound and its striking resemblance to one of their main influences, The Gaslight Anthem. Avenue Kings have great potential and could be even better once they venture out and establish a sound that is truly theirs.
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