By Alex Molten
VANCOUVER — Loitering on the sidewalk outside of their jam space on a sunny Vancouver day, the band Last Kaste reflects on their first year. Formed last July, the band has already released a solid seven song demo, opened for UK punk legend Disorder, played a bunch locally, and have a seven-inch EP in the works.
The band is fronted by Annie Bastard, with Scuz on guitar, Tyler on bass and backup vocals, and Cordie on drums. They play U.K. 82 style punk that is charged with both personal and political lyrics. Constantly driving, it is true no-nonsense punk rock with clear lyrical purpose that hasn’t been watered down.
“I don’t know, I think I’ve always wanted to sing about things that are important to me personally. I mean I find I write better when I’m passionate about something,” says Annie, “There’s a song about indigenous resistance [and] a lot of the songs are rooted in feminist stuff I believe in. I also sing about depression and mental health stuff because that’s pretty relevant to my life.”
“And hating cops,” says Scuz.
“Yeah, and hating cops. But that’s a given though. I was like should I write this song? It’s like [a] cheesy anti-cop song…” laughs Annie.
U.K. 82 style punk is the name of the genre that was born out of the first big punk movement. It is fast with relentless drumbeats and often dark and political lyrics. One can think of it as first wave punk that was boiled down and distilled into a stronger and condensed version. It is pure punk and Last Kaste set out to bring the sound to Vancouver with a modern incarnation.
“It’s not just the same stuff people have been doing for years. We’re trying to make it as unique as possible,” says Annie.
“No subgenres, no bullshit, straight punk,” affirms Tyler.
“It’s done with knowledge of the style and aesthetic and songwriting,” adds Cordie.
The effort has not been missed. Right from their first show they have come across like they know what they are doing. They know what they set out to do and it has been paying off.
“We’ve had a lot of positive response about the music,” says Cordie about the cities reception of the band.
“Yeah, the music itself. Yeah mostly people talk about how it’s cool that it’s a female fronted UK 82 band that’s modern or whatever,” says Annie about the positive feedback.
U.K. 82 style punk hasn’t really been happening in the city, so there isn’t a genre specific scene attached to the style. Still, Last Kaste has been feeling the support from the Vancouver DIY scene.
“It’s been really important to me,” says Annie about the Vancouver scene, “This is my first band and I’ve been nervous and unsure so it’s nice to have people in the scene who are supportive and encouraging instead of talking shit or being judgemental.”
“We get along with a lot of bands that are across the musical spectrum of our scene,” Scuz chips in. “Metal bands, hardcore bands, oi bands, and shit like that so…everybody’s got their corner but everybody still hangs out.”
So whether you are just wanting to come out and see some bands or you are wanting to start a band, Last Kaste would love to see you come out and help build the scene. There is always room for more punk!
Last Kaste performs on July 5. Ask around for location.BC, British Columbia, Last Kaste, UK 82 punk