Wall of Sound presents: “2021 YEAR IN REVIEW” By The Last Gang’s Ken Aquino

Californian punk act The Last Gang were still riding out the success of their debut album, Keep Them Counting when the pandemic hit in 2020. Forced to cancel their increasing tour schedule, the band (fronted by vocalist Brenna Red) turned all their focus into writing an equally as successful sophomore record.

That’s exactly what they did. The band brought some much needed noise to 2021 with their album, Noise Noise Noise (our review here), which saw many fans resonate with the four-piece’s catchy ska/punk energy. While the band inevitably await the return of their hectic touring schedule in 2022, lead guitarist Ken Aquino tells us all about what his highlights of the past year were…

TOP 5 ALBUMS OF 2021

#5 Turnstile – Glow on
#4 Rise Against – Nowhere Generation
#3 Chvrches – Screen Violence
#2 The Muslims – Fuck These Fuckin Fascists
#1  Weezer – OK Human

 TOP 5 SONGS OF 2021

#5 ‘How Not To Drown’ Chvrches, Robert Smith
#4 ‘Unity’ The Muslims
#3 ‘Heavy Steps’ Comeback Kid 
#2 ‘Talking To Ourselves’ Rise Against
#1 ‘Non Serviam’ Frank Turner

BEST MUSIC VIDEO OF 2021

I’m gonna do a few …

‘Linewleum’ – NOFX

‘Unity’ – The Muslims

‘Heavy Steps’ – Comeback Kid

Also… fuck it… our video for ‘Noise Noise Noise’ too cause we had a blast filming it. 

LAST GIG YOU PLAYED BEFORE COVID HIT?

The last show we played before covid was at The Commissary Lounge with our friends, Melted, and Naked Aggression. I remember hanging out and specifically talking about the tours we had planned for 2020 and being optimistic about the year. Little did we know we weren’t going to be doing any of it. 

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT RETURNING TO THE STAGE?

It’s all very exciting! Our first show back was with Get Dead at the Yucca Tap Room in the summer. I felt extra nervous but really excited. It felt a lot like the first time getting on a stage and playing in front of people. I’ll never forget that show cause we could all feel the pent-up energy that everyone had, and right when we hit that first chord we all felt like we were right where we needed to be.  

HOW DID YOU STAY BUSY THROUGHOUT THE PAST TWO YEARS?

When I wasn’t yelling at the tv and fuming from the state of the world I spent the beginning of covid lockdown playing guitar and working on what would be our latest record (Noise Noise Noise). Tried to be as productive as I could while trying to stay sane like everyone else. For the rest I was either working my day job, riding my bike, playing video games, or watching some nerdy movie. Happy to say that the last month was spent being back on the road with Brenna, Robert, and Sean. It felt like we were getting back to some familiarity. 

BEST ADVICE GOING INTO 2022?

Do what you want that makes you happy and be excellent to each other. 😉

WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2022?

Can’t wait to do more and more normal things on a regular basis. It’s gonna be a rad year to see movies in a theater again, to go to a Laker game, and give Disneyland a visit or two cause we live right next to it. And of course I can’t wait to play more shows and festivals. There’s a few places in the mix that we as a band never played and places that I haven’t been to. Also I can’t wait to start working on new music. It’s always fun to see how we progressed as a band and hear it in our songs. Can’t fucking wait! 

Written By Ken Aquino @kenxsmash

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