Last Wish: ‘Careful What You Wish For’

Released on January 1, 2023 (Back In Time Records)

The debut album from this Philadelphia four-piece kicks off  in fine, hard driving style with opener “Get Your Rocks Off” which is has nothing to do with the similarly named Reff rocker and all to do with setting their own stall out, and that continues with the stomping “Alive And Kickin’”. The latter is hampered by slightly strained vocals and is, unfortunately, a criticism that resonates throughout the album, sadly, including the chorus driven “If It’s Too Loud”.

The efficient good time roller “Bluesman” comes complete with every blues song title you can immediately think of, as well as the already requisite Mike Peters solo-ing. From there, the rather messy and forgettable “Head Over Heels” gives way to the commercial,  rock radio friendly triple of “I Wanna Make Rock N Roll With You”, “Without You” and the barnstorming “I Want Nothing To Do With You” which really does hark back to those Sunset Strip days and is all the better for it of course. The Barfly styled boogie of “Last Call (An Ode To Beer)” has a real sleazy feel to it that carries over into the affectionately rocking tribute of “1985” , the overall effect of which is once again spoiled by the ever so slightly off-key vocals that stay very much in evidence on the otherwise rousing closer “Not Going Away”.

The rhythm section of Billy Mandelhall on bass and Brad Maurer on the drums are consistently solid throughout, and Mike Peters can obviously shred a guitar — although his efficient but often repetitive solos do become tedious at times. The main problems are that the production is often messy and unclear while singer Tommy Monach sounds as though he would be more at home in a bar boogie band than valiantly attempting to reach some of the notes seemingly required here. It’s not at all that the man can’t sing, it’s just that he doesn’t sound at home singing most of these songs, which is a great shame.

The bottom line is that there are some potentially cracking songs here that could — and perhaps should — neatly blur the line between classic ’80s glam metal and the denim clad New Wave of British Heavy Metal, were it not for the rather ordinary production and distinct lack of grit across the board. A liberal sprinkling of that missing and essential ingredient to provide some much needed “oomph” and Last Wish could well have had a classic debut on their hands. Sadly, and with the best will in the world, that is not the case.

Track List:
01. Get Your Rocks Off
02. Alive And Kickin
03. If It’s Too Loud
04. Bluesman
05. Head Over Heels
06. I Wanna Make Rock N Roll To You
07. Without You
08. I Want Nothing To Do With You
09. Last Call (An Ode To Beer)
10. 1985
11. Not Going Away

Band Members:
Mike Peters – guitar
Tommy Monach – vocals
Billy Mendenhall – bass
Brad Maurer – drums

Band Websites:

Reviewed by Rockney Colin for Sleaze Roxx, May 2023

Last Wish‘s “Get Your Rocks Off” audio: