Though they have yet to release a full length record, Kenyan metalcore band Last Year's Tragedy have been putting out a steady stream of heavy-as-fuck singles since their inception in 2005. But hey, it's the future, and the album is dead maybe? Regardless, these guys are epic. Their latest are the singles “Generation Light” and “Elephant in the Room.”
There's something that has always pleased my inner anarcho-pacifist-punk whenever heavy bands scream bloody murder about peace and coming together (I've long held that punks are just hippies with anger management issues...). “Generation Light” is a plea for peace and sanity. From Kenya, which has seen bursts of violence since 2008, to the world at large, the track calls on our generation to reject the petty conflict and cycles of revenge of our parents' generation. It's a powerful and brutal track with brief windows of melody, often courtesy of synth player Ruto.
From the global to the personal, “Elephant in the Room” is a classic break-up song. “What makes us whole anymore? Time?” singer Chizi screams, pondering delicate emotions as loudly as possible. There's something fitting about singing about a relationship with the same intensity as about warfare. War may be a “global economic phenomenon,” to paraphrase Mos, but sometimes the end of a relationship can feel just as global.
Stream both tracks via the player above, and definitely check out the minimal but awesome video for “Generation Light.”
- Words by Nathan Leigh