If you’re not yet familiar with this Orlando-based band and you like groups like Anberlin and Silverstein then you’ll want to check them out. Last Winter plays a kind of metal-tinged power pop that fans of both the aforementioned bands will recognize except that they don’t cross over into the realm of screamo as Silverstein does upon occasion.

Singer and guitarist Ian Dempsey is more interested in displaying his penchant for working with harmony and he multi-tracks his vocals to achieve a big and friendly arena-rocking sound on cuts like “Nightlaunch” and “The Northern Lights.” “Yellowbelly” finds Last Winter utilizing a bit of a harder sound that highlights the frenetic pounding of drummer Chris Pock, but the song also retains enough melody and harmony to recall the best punk-pop of, oddly enough, Yellowcard.

With a total of three guitarists in the band, most of the songs on The Heart & the Broken Compass are sliced and diced by stinging six-string riffs but Last Winter pulls out the synthesizer for closing cut “Arrows,” using the instrument to add sugar to the already sweet vocal line. These guys have been around for a decade, and while they may not be a household name, this set demonstrates that they easily could be.

Grade: B



The Heart & the Broken Compass is currently available.