The Morning After Girls - Alone

While not lacking character, it doesn’t ever build on the interest it creates.

With a borderline terrible name, and songs titled like taglines to M Night Shyamalan films (‘Who Is They?’ and ‘You Need To Die’, being prime examples), these displaced Australians, The Morning After Girls, could be overlooked. Luckily talent will shine through, as will shoegaze hooks and irresistible vocals, but while they sometimes do, this murky sky is too often clouded.

The bane of any shuffled playlist, the album crawls into life with a thirty second track. That introduction ambles into ‘The Best Explanation’, a slow-burning stroll through wastelands of high-pitched guitars and swaying vocals. The true awakening, in all its Dandy Warhols-esque glory is third track ‘The General Public’, marking the return of passing background ‘ahs’, last seen in Beck’s ‘Gamma Ray’. The song manages to be muscular without being over-tensed, hazy without being indistinguishable and is probably the first marker on the album of this five-piece’s true potential.

As can be expected from a title track, ‘Alone’ sees TMAG with a comfortable swagger, all psychedelia and somewhat spiky guitars and very much in their element. The next few tracks struggle towards true grandeur, but all too often the atmosphere dissipates, a similar fate befalls their attempts at being haunting too. Leaving ‘You Need To Die’ without intensity, depth or menace seems like a songwriting crime and the malaise just accentuates the overwhelming similarity between the album’s songs. Penultimate track ‘Who Is They?’ sees a much belated return to their garage rocking credentials, managing a decidedly post-punk bassline and complimentary guitars it even has a stuttering breakdown, oddly reminiscent of Interpol classic, ‘The New’.

Like seeing through the dark, smoke-filled rooms it seems suited to, the album becomes increasingly hard to pin-point, each track surrendering into the next, hazily, without true definition. It lacks the immediacy to create landmark peaks, but it has the ability not to fall into noticeable troughs. While not lacking character it doesn’t ever really build on the interest it creates, not helped by fairly uninvolving lyrics throughout. Not a night time album, nor a daytime album, ‘Alone’ fair best on the cusp of falling asleep. Whether that’s because of its sleepy repetition, its comfortingly easy nature or just because it’s all a bit dull is hard to say.

Tags: The Morning After Girls, Reviews, Album Reviews

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