The Morning After Girls make music that elicits natural phenomena: melodies crest like waves and repeat, soundscapes glisten and erupt like epic sunsets. The Australian shoegazers’ semi-retro sounds break into a sprint by the time an introductory crescendo yields the first song proper, “The Best Explanation.” Electric guitars spark and shimmer like slow motion firecrackers over a taut foundation of acoustic guitars and whispered vocals that spread and thin until words become nothing more than another gauzy layer of melody.
But beyond atmospheric noise-pop sparkle of the album opener, the Morning After Girls navigate some tricky terrain without ever sacrificing a cohesive, personal sound. “The General Public” finds the group edging into Madchester-inspired club rock while the pitch-bent guitar warble and ascending riffs of “Who Is They” suggest arena-worthy pop foundations with an underground bite. The psych dirge of “Death Procession,” drags the group through a dark night of the soul, while capitalizing on the layered vocal pairings of members Sascha Lucashenko and Martin B. Sleeman. The track even tosses in a helicopter sound effect that manages to build upon a hellishly thrashing mid-song breakdown without sounding like a canned, corny cry for artistic freedom.
These darker moments play a bit more evenly into the group’s sound than the sunny, early-morning buzz of “To Be your Loss,” which comes off as a slight misstep on the way to the hovering, bleary-eyed downtempo finale of “Tomorrow’s Time.” The closing number harkens back to the minimalist beauty of Spacemen 3 and dives headlong into an acid-folk rock din that climaxes in uproarious clutter before spilling out into a bare slither of feedback.
Favorite Track: “The Best Explanation”
Reviewer Bio - Christopher j Ewing is a writer and filmmaker living in Los Angeles with a girl and a designer dog. He is in a band by himself, has a myspace account at www.myspace.com/wastedpotentialproduction and a production company at (www.wastedpotentialproductions.com) for freelance film, video and journalism work.