The Morning After

Legacy

Written by: TL on 31/01/2012 23:08:49

Besides from people in either Japan or Essex, UK, I'm guessing few enough have heard of The Morning After, a glam/hair-revivalist band from the latter of the two locations. I got a chance to get acquainted with them a few years back when they dropped their debut album "You Can't Hurt Steel", and even though I had to give it due objective criticism, I also became quite enamored with the band's enthusiastic re-take on stylistical elements that haven't really been in since I was playing with Lego on my parents' floor.

Between the release of "You Can't Hurt Steel" and the new album "Legacy", I think I've seen the band's facebook buzz a bit about some line-up changes and although I can't seem to find a bio that confirms this, it would make sense, because "Legacy" also marks a slight change in sound. Don't get me wrong, TMA are still so blatantly 80's it will make anybody wanna rewatch things like Top Gun or Silverhawks - this haven't changed. What has changed is the band having another leg stationed firmly in modern metalcore, and where "You Can't Hurt Steel" gave us 10 relatively lengthy adventures into Blessed By A Broken Heart-ish hairmetalcore adventures, "Legacy" mostly scales down the heavier elements - such as harsh vocals, which are almost completely absent this time around - and focuses almost entirely on blazing riffage, kickass soloing and catchy choruses.

When it works best, both riffs and solos are cool and the hooks are solid and you can likely feel entirely on board with TMA, as seen especially in single "America" and other highlights such as "Over The Wire" and "Rest In Pieces". And really it works well rather consistently, as by far the majority of the album's thirteen songs have either/both choruses and/or guitar-work to appear recognisable. A few of the songs around the middle stretch however, like "The Witch Is On My Back" and "These Hills Have Eyes" seem a little weaker than the rest though, and their runtime gives the listener ample time to also notice some of TMA's remaining weakness. For one thing, we have the bass and drums being reduced to very restricted roles in both the mix and the now highly traditional songwriting, fortifying the impression that this is an album that is all about the singing and the guitar. And apparently keyboards have also left the bands soundscape somewhere along the way. Furthermore, it wouldn't be unreasonable of you to think for a moments that by far the most of the songs on "Legacy" are really similar variations of the same 'type' of song, potentially making the album an occasionally samey listen.

That being said, those 'variations' still are quite solid in their individual right, and it gladdens me to hear that the band has cleaned out some of their sillier ideas and tidied up the vocal work. It's a shame that the relatively ambitious centrepiece "Streams Of Stars" doesn't consistently deliver throughout its length, because I'd actually love to hear the band retain their penchant for bigger and more epic songs. However, when all comes to all, none of this really stands as the main reason I think people should listen to The Morning After - and if people have any love for 80s/glam/hair/classic heavy, I think they should! - No, the reason would be solely that these guys aren't Steel Panther. Sure, many of you may love Steel Panther for the complete parody they make of these dinosaurs among stylistic elements, but to you I say: You people have a shit sense of humor. I would take The Morning After any day, because as opposed to similar bands, they approach their chosen genres with both love AND respect, and infuse them with the audacious seriousness and youthful enthusiasm that makes the whole thing endlessly more listenworthy. Long story short: There's still work to do here lads, but I'm still completely on board with you.

Download: America, Over The Wire, Rest In Pieces
For The Fans Of: Blessed By A Broken Heart, The Galvatrons, The Darkness, Journey, Bon Jovi,
Listen: facebook.com/tmaofficialuk

Release Date 12.12.2011
Rising Records/JVC Victor Entertainment

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