Sadly, The Last Temptation Of Chris is the final album from Winnipeg’s wannabe goths, Surprise Party. It’s fitting of course, that these last songs would be riddled with the highest voltage electro keyboard riffs, the hollowed old time Barbershop-eque vocals and lyrics to set one’s teeth on edge.“Seven-layer cutie. I wanna take a dip”, courtesy of track 2, “Gloom”. If you have not shifted involuntarily in your seat, you are a sociopath and must seek professional help immediately. Surprise Party also included plenty of thunder elsewhere in their album.

See track 3, “The Hunter”: explosions of cymbals fused to guitar with extra crunch surrounded in a phase-shifting organ riff, and capped by lyrics that conjure the ever-lurking prospect of one’s doom: “I’m the threat of the evening. I’m the trouble. I’m the bringer of death tonight…I’m the threat of the evening for you tonight.” Chills, instant chills.

For more chills, change to track 5, “Hex”. Deep thumping drums slowly rev the song, like an old engine, and the spark plug is the keys/organ. I don’t know enough about engines to continue this metaphor, but those sounds are all played before singer Danny Hacking’s voice checks in and sets its bed on fire. Track 9, “Angel’s Breath” has a keyboard/organ riff that feels like Darth Vader’s WWE entrance music.

In addition to the tracks, Surprise Party has included a poem tucked into the liner entitled “Liber 69”. This poem speaks to the possibility of “Last Temptation” being a concept album: the characters “Solstice” and “Hank” are referenced in “Liber 69” as well as track 1 (emphasis added), “Blues In F (Solstice and Hank at the End of the Universe)”. The general flow of the album hints at a continuation of story. Perhaps you are twisted enough to follow it.

Omri Golden Plotnik