The Last Ditches are Walter Lure (guitar and vocals) formerly of Johnny Thunder’s Heartbreakers, Binky Philips (guitar and vocals) of The Planets, Randy Pratt (bass and vocals) formerly of the Funky Knights and the recently reformed classic hard rock band Cactus and Bobby Rondinelli (drums) ex-Black Sabbath and Rainbow.
So here we have hard rockers and punk legend, does it work or not? Well yes it does and for the most part it works very well. All thirteen songs on Spilt Milk were learned on the spot in the studio and recorded the moment “the ducks lined up.” Adding to the immediacy of the basic tracks, in every case, all the many guitar overdubs were cut with nothing worked out in advance, ever. What Walter and Binky achieved was almost entirely by instinct, attitude, and a strong musical empathy. The songs are mostly punk influenced and have great drumming, but the guitar playing is pretty darn good too. Lots of tight riffs and chunky leads are the name of the game here. The gritty vocals work very well and add a nice edge to the songs and give it a raw feel. The only song that didn’t do it for me was the mellow “I Made A Mess.” It just sounded out-of-place and never seemed to give me anything to grab hold of, but one song out of thirteen that I didn’t like is a pretty damn good ratio. The guys play with exuberance and energy, the gruff vocals show emotion and the whole things really does work well.
An experiment that works, even if you think that it shouldn’t. The band has the chops and the talent and they give you something that you didn’t know that you wanted, but can’t live without.