A stunner of a set of opening bars officially welcomes us into Last Shot’s first song, “Wait,” and Steve Junot along with his band the Infamous will use the next few minutes that follow to show us how powerful a blues melody he can pump out when he gets into a sexy groove with the bass. This introductory tune isn’t as sizzling a BBQ-flavored blues jam as the following song, “Juice Ain’t Worth the Squeeze,” is, but even the best songwriters in the game today have a tough time measuring up to the high standard set by bands like ZZ Top not so long ago. “Neutral Ground” stumbles into focus out of the fiery remains that “Juice Ain’t Worth the Squeeze” leaves behind, and although it’s built on the back of a drunken stagger, its vocal harmonies are perhaps the most sobering and evocative of any on Last Shot.
“God Can’t Help Me” brings the tempo up quite a bit from where we left off in “Neutral Ground,” and along with “Won’t Be That Bad to You” makes for the most thrilling pop content of the record. Every song here is a little different, but there are a few that share somewhat familiar compositional traits, the most common of which being an electrified, almost West Coast-style blues tonality. “Love is Like a Hurricane” is my favorite composition on Last Shot, but as magical as it is on its own, I think that it’s made all the more engaging in the wake of the powerhouse combo of “God Can’t Help Me” and “Won’t Be That Bad to You.”
There’s a classic rock sensibility to “Ain’t Got to Be So Crazy” that doesn’t exist anywhere else on this album, and yet because of the seamless transitioning between the different songs, it bleeds into ironclad works like “In the Morning” as though this were a concert medley. “God Can’t Help Me” is one of the bigger standouts in this set of songs, and not because of its graceful string melodies exclusively. Junot is singing from the bottom of his heart in this track, and though the rollicking beat of “Love is Like a Hurricane” and the starry-eyed element in “My Home” are just as unforgettable in the grander scheme of things, there’s something that stuck with me about the vocal work he contributed to this song in particular.
“She Only Loves Me When She’s Drunk” brings us full circle in Last Shot by reinvigorating the rhythmic vibes of the album’s first few juggernauts, and in a flurry of percussion and feedback, Steve Junot’s 2020 suite bursts through the finish line. There aren’t any awkward attempts at revolutionary rhythm worth skipping over in this record, and more importantly, there’s not a moment of mundane melodicism akin to something that one would hear on commercial FM radio. The indie scene was asking for some stone-cold blues riffs, and Junot answered the call with a satisfying sound in this LP that I don’t plan on popping out of my stereo anytime soon. He’s done some great work here and compared to the competition, Last Shot is on a whole other level of urbanity.