Release Date: Feb 21, 2006
Record label: Transdreamer / Chemikal Underground
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
The presence of what sounds like energy, streaked across most of The Last Romance, has often been mistaken for happiness, or at least a resigned sense of contentment. A fast tempo and comprehensible lyrics don't necessarily indicate that a band is being upbeat, but in the case of Arab Strap-- a band that has been dealing in bitterness, jealousy, regret, drunkenness, sloppy sex, and all combinations thereof throughout its entire career -- any glint, no matter how slight or fleeting, is bound to be blown out of proportion. When Aidan Moffat sings, "And when I wake up stiff, please just feel free to use me/Then go to work and let me wonder what it was that made you choose me" (aww, what a sweetheart), he might as well be holding a basket of puppies in a field of fragrant flowers.
Time weighs heavily on the Arab Strap, the way it tends to on people who have passed 30 and think that that makes them old (you silly young things!). Having a band that’s been around a decade not only makes them more reflective, but more extravagant; they’ve pulled out the stops and put real drums on nearly every track, added strings and horns to several others, and given everything the sort of sonic boost that only well-heeled post-production can buy. Malcolm Middleton’s electric and bass guitars have never sounded so big, and they’re better that way.