Today is the release day of Kyle Avallone’s debut album ‘Last Minute Man’. The album is a sleazy offering of Casiotones covered in barroom smoke and crimson cabaret light; a scuzzed out tower of songs that takes you on a late night escapade littered with neon signs, bathroom debauchery, and 3AM rendezvous. You could be nightclubbing in Berlin with the ghost of Rowland S. Howard, or zig zagging across the floor of the Black Lodge with holes in your loafers, a tear in your dress.
“I wanted to escape the day-to-day,” says Avallone. That desire to run away permeates through all of the album’s nine tracks. In the sloppy swagger of “The Haunted Screen,” a fallen angel has broken a wing at the expense of love. Despite his soul-sucking existence, he flies on. On the hypnotic closer, “Take Me Away,” Avallone pleas, “Let’s sail the sea by night/The distant shore is bright/I’ve counted my cards, there’s nothing for me here/Disappear.”
Of course, there are other ways to check out—indulgence, excess, isolation. “Cruise Control” chronicles a night on the town in the manner of Bowie’s Thin White Duke—the pursuit of cold satisfaction and the untold numbness that follows. Over the incessant groove of “I’m Ready,” a prophet, prince, or president lays claim to his throne and prepares for his ascension, as well as the end of days. “Somewhere You Can’t Find Me” puts you on the other end of a desperate phone call from the depths of addiction, a lost soul’s muddled goodbye.
But don’t be mistaken—it’s not all doom and gloom. Avallone’s lyrics and delivery contain an undercurrent of wry flirtation that suggests these characters can see beyond their torture. The title track, “Last Minute Man,” evokes the self-deprecation and gentle chauvinism of Leonard Cohen—“When your drink is done/when the party’s no fun/when you bite and bat, but still he don’t come/that’s when the light shines on me…” The romantic ballad, “Borrowed Spell,” finds our seducer waiting in anxious anticipation, fearful of what consequences love may bring.
These songs are a mirror in a motel where you only like the way you look if you’ve had enough to drink. This album is a soundtrack for those who fly too close to the sun.
Order the limited pressed vinyl here.