Song of the Day: Incomplete - Last Night

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We now approach the 20th anniversary of this now classic punk rock split release between 1 huge fan favorite band – Dogwood, and 1 lesser known, extremely underrated melodic “new school punk” band, Incomplete. I’m left feeling sentimental just looking at the simple artwork and being reminded of two extremely important bands of my youth. I first discovered Incomplete while in High School. I don’t remember who passed a demo to me but I held on to it tightly and followed the band right into “I’m Your Biggest Fan Vol. 1” where they contributed their first nationally released track. I booked them at our Church youth group in 1996 for a small room with a crowd of uninterested youngsters. The nasally vocals of these California based surf-punks probably turned off some people in the early years. Once they added Brandon on vocals toward the late 90’s, it was like a whole new band. The band played constantly around California, up and down the coast. What was seemingly an attainable goal of becoming the next huge band to grace stages and hearts with their unmistakable sound, was but a memory left to collect dust in the fragments of what once was. Incomplete were ahead of the time. They played fast and furious melodic punk rock with loads of guitar solos, back up harmonies, and positive, hope filled lyrics with a socially conscious message. The song I chose is “Last Night” off the 2000 “Split” with Dogwood. Only 4 songs were recorded for this Split which One Moment Records put out in the year 2000 and showcased new vocalist, Brandon Joens who also went on to record as The Sunny Test. “Last Night” showcased some tasty guitar licks and solid punk rock drumming while incorporating catchy, melodic backup harmonies. The song tells a story of peer pressure and how destructive alcoholism can ruin oneself. I always saw potential in Incomplete and really, really wanted to see them excel at their craft. I felt like if a reputable label or brand had taken them on at that time period and pumped some money into solid production, they would have been the next big thing. In that era of Nsync, Backstreet Boys, Britney, Christina, and Nu Metal like Limp Bizkit (barf), it’s no wonder a melodic punk rock band would have broken up a little soon. I even tried signing this band to Screaming Giant before I quit working there in the early years. Raise a toast to Mike, Brandon, Terry, Richard, and Bubba for what once was and what could have been. Carry on friends, carry on. [Check out the band’s powerful final song ‘You’re So man’ in a lyric video somebody created on Youtube, below].

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