Influenced by '60s surf, psychedelia, and folk-rock, brothers Joe (guitar), Mike (vocals), and David Nolte (bass) of Los Angeles formed the Last in 1976, along with associates Jack Reynolds (drums) and Vitus Matare (keyboards). The Last might be considered a seminal indie band, having released early singles on their own label, Backlash. Their first album, L.A. Explosion, released in 1979 on the Bomp! label, has been lauded as a powerful and nearly perfect first effort.
The Last recorded a second album, Look Again, in 1980 on Backlash and distributed it privately. In 1982, they returned to Bomp! for the EP Fade to Black, and then completed Painting Smiles on a Dead Man for Lolita Records before disbanding in 1985. David Nolte left to join Wednesday Week and eventually ended up in Lucky. The band reformed in 1988 with Luk Lohnes on guitar and vocals, Missy Buettner on bass, and Robbie Rist on drums joining Joe and Mike Nolte from the original lineup. That year they toured outside of California for the first time and released Confessions on the SST label. Two more releases on SST have followed -- Awakenings in 1989 and Gin & Innuendo in 1996. Dave Nazworthy replaced Rist on drums during the recording of Awakenings, and David Nolte has a cameo appearance on that album as well. Nazworthy also plays for the Chemical People.
Through the personnel changes, the Last have maintained a consistent style of potent power-pop, heavily influenced by the local music they grew up listening to in Southern California. ~ Nick Kemper