There For Tomorrow

Nightscape EP

Written by: TL on 21/11/2014 15:06:22

One of the more demotivating things about the music industry, is that even if you do a lot of things by the book, success is still fragile thing, and the more it grows the more complicated it becomes to sustain it - an act can't really afford to take much of a breather before that mythical point when they manage an achievement that carve them into history as a household name. It's something to be reminded of, when Florida-based pop-rock comets There For Tomorrow announced their break-up a few days ago, only weeks after the release of their new EP "Nightscape", and it feels more like yesterday than the actual five years ago, that the band won MTVU's Woodie Award as the breakout artist of the year. It's doubly shocking to hear of the band's demise considering the high level of pop-rock they demonstrated on 2011's third album "The Verge", yet despite the sublime tightness and elegance of that record - which made you feel like the band had really mastered their genre - "Nightscape" does show some questionable parts that makes you wonder if the band has missed the guidance of former producer Michael Baskette.

The EP overall takes the band's already glittery pop-rock further into almost r&b-feeling waters, with the title track blooming up around emotive vocalising and setting the scene for opener proper, "Lady In Black", which has a nice and funky signature riff from guitarist Christian Climer, but soon feels a bit like the band on auto-pilot, as lead-singer/guitarist Maika Maile's otherwise dynamic, falsetto-happy singing isn't contrasted with quite the sense of danger or direction that carried him on "The Verge". It's a good tune but it feels a bit too flimsy to have lasting impact. It's followed by "Dark Purple Sky", which sees the band spread its wings in Thirty Seconds To Mars-like fashion, almost as if that band had lent their music to the expressive vocal styles of someone that had listened to a great deal of Michael Jackson ballads. Regretably the product feels contrived, as the rhythms feel too relaxed and Maile plays the falsetto card too soon, preventing the song from finding an engaging foundation before its choruses unfold.

Obviously the Orlando quartet hasn't completely lost their touch, and the whole "Nightscape" EP is still a slick production, ripe with the kind of expertise experienced listeners will recognise instantly as the sound of a band that has long since moved on from trying to doing. That said, a song like "Racing Blood" does feel like uninspired routine work, and once again, the sense of dynamics and surprise is gone, substituted for a sound that feels a bit like cheesy bedroom music. The guitar solo and screamy outburst towards the end of the seductive "Breathe Easy" doesn't fit the mood of the rest of the song, rather appearing like slightly feeble attempts to spark some life into things, and while it may sound crudely reductive, "Tomb" really does feel like simply more of the same, offering more corny, hazy backing vocals than actually dynamic musical ideas.

Whether or not Hopeless Records had heard these ideas already when they and the band went their separate ways is not for us to say, but considering the levels of potential and ambition the band has previously shown, it is perhaps no surprise that both labels and the band themselves got tired of waiting for their efforts to culminate in anything that could truly realise their potential and blast them off into the leagues of your Paramores or Fall Out Boys - leagues that There For Tomorrow's sound has always been pointing at. Not that the band hasn't accomplished anything - three albums and over 170.000 facebook followers is no small amount of success - but still it must be frustrating when you get to their level and still can't quite break into the next one. So when the well ran dry the way it seems to have in the making of "Nightscape", perhaps one shouldn't be shocked to see the guys choose this as the time to pull the plug and try other things.

Download: Dark Purple Sky, Lady In Black
For The Fans Of: Paramore, Thirty Seconds To Mars, The 1975

Release date 21.10.2014

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