A versatile and caustic Wisconsin-based self-described "acid-metal" group, Last Crack employ a formidable blend of thrash, progressive metal, funk, blues, and melody-rich psychedelic rock.
Emerging in 1989 with the uncompromising Sinister Funkhouse #17, the band's early critical and commercial success proved overwhelming, and after the release of their acclaimed 1991 sophomore effort Burning Time, they disbanded. A re-tooled lineup issued a series of demos in 1994, but it would be 25 years before Last Crack would officially re-form and release their long-awaited third studio LP, 2019's Up Rising.
Formed in the summer of 1987 in Madison around the talents of guitarists Paul Schluter and Don Bakken, bassist Todd Winger, drummer Phil Buerstatte, and charismatic vocalist Buddo Xavier Rank, Last Crack arrived at the tail-end of the glam/pop-metal movement and the onset of the grunge/alternative rock scene, and their sound echoed the sonic eclecticism of contemporaries like Jane's Addiction, King's X, Faith No More, Mary My Hope, and Fishbone. They inked a deal with Roadrunner Records, based in no small part on their fiery, emotionally charged live shows, which had begun to reach audiences outside of their Midwestern stomping grounds, and released their debut album, Sinister Funkhouse #17, in 1991. Recorded at Prince's Paisley Park, the LP delivered a confrontational and willfully eccentric barrage of styles that split audiences -- the iconic album cover featured a nude Buddo in an archer pose against a wall of blood -- and helped to cement the group's cult status. The dark and unwaveringly diverse, Dave Jerden-produced follow-up Burning Time yielded the single "Energy Mind" -- which saw a bit of rotation on MTV -- and earned accolades from critics and fans alike, but mismanagement and festering internal woes collided shortly after its release, and within months, on the verge of commercial success, Last Crack was no more.
The group reunited briefly in 1994 with vocalist Shawn Brown and released a collection of demos called Runheadstartscreaming. The original lineup reconvened in 2002 for a one-off reunion performance, and again in 2009, but they wouldn't make it official until 2019. Drummer Phil Buerstatte passed away in 2013, so the band enlisted Cris Havey, who had played with them during their formative years. Signing with Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson's EMP label, Last Crack released their third studio long-player, Up Rising, in 2019. ~ James Christopher Monger, Rovi