Distances the new mini album from UK rock band The Afterparty is one of those thrilling releases which makes a sizeable and instantly agreeable initial impression but over a brief time it has hooked the emotions, reeled them rigorously in, and locked them away in an inescapable cage of lustful appreciation. It is a formidable beast of an album fusing melodic and alternative rock into one exhilarating riot of sound and passion. It is also an encounter which suggests that The Afterparty is still a work in progress which only adds to the excitement generated by the six track tempestuous stomp.
There is little we can reveal about the band except they consist of vocalist Nic Matthews, guitarists Matt Semmens and Joe Roshier, bassist Dave Sheard, and drummer Matt Russell, were formed in 2010, and have just come off a successful UK tour with We Caught The Castle and Road To Horizon. To be honest their music does all of the talking and Distances certainly shouts loud and vivaciously for them. Produced by Matt O’Grady and bringing previously released singles into a healthy union with new tracks, the self-released album lights up the imagination from start to finish, suggesting that The Afterparty is more than ready to explode into an intensive spotlight; an attention it is not hard to expect coming their way sooner rather than later.
Lost Cause opens things up and is sooner thrusting melody fuelled riffs and grooves with a pleasingly abrasive edge through the ears, vocals smoothing their passage with strong harmonies and expressive intent. The bass of Sheard just as quickly as the guitars grabs attention; its throaty tones a riveting shadow to the scorching enterprise and adventure sculpted by Semmens and Roshier. The at times rumbling rhythms from Russell also steal their fair portion of the scenery; his athletic craft understanding restraint and aggression within a song perfectly. The track continues to leap upon and side step expectations with invention and exhausting endeavour as it provides a thoroughly contagious and invigorating start to the release.
The following Cover Up strides purposely as its makes its entrance before relaxing into a niggling persistence of guitar soon joined by a clean vocal narrative and framing beats courted by the ever dramatic voice of the bass. It is not long before the song is into the pungent stroll of the chorus, infectiousness and climactic emotions a crescendo of irresistible and slightly familiar if indefinable persuasion. Like the first track, it intrigues with its unpredictability within a well-defined body of sound and intent, and like every song a fascinating proposition to surprise and enthral.
By the end of each track you feel you know them as a close friend such their addictive prowess and easily accessible inventiveness, the next up Open Road being no exception. The song romps with sinews an open attraction from its first breath but reins them in as the band explores the emotive landscape cast leading to the ridiculously catchy chorus, another explosive anthemic temptation which this time has a definite Fleetwood Mac to its melodic lures. One of the first singles to draw people into the arms of The Afterparty it is clear to see why with its easy but potent bait.
The band’s latest single When The Lights Go Out initially is a gentle walk with elegant stroking melodies though that bass once more adds virulently tempting shadows. It is a strong if under whelming start but within a minute things turn into a furnace of passion and inflammatory energy which simply awakens the song, musically, vocally, and in heart. It is an absorbing and anthemic fire, guitars igniting the air and rhythms caging all of the passion of the vocals and sonic endeavour within their commanding presence masterfully.
The outstanding Liar Liar comes next, the track thrusting its almost antagonistic intent and muscular body at the ears with riffs barracking and grooves entwining the senses whilst rhythms lay down their own hungry bruising. It is a glorious start with Matthews roaring as he rides their charge, subsequently bringing a harmonic union with the band when the song nestles into a less forceful but similarly imposing stance. It along with its predecessor discovers the perfect union of reserve and ferocity, restraint and fiery emotive expulsions, both telling you all you need to know about The Afterparty and the reasons you should watch them closely. The closing Within The Looking Glass only adds to that evidence with its drama and intensive emotion not forgetting immense musical quality.
It is hard not to be excited by Distances, especially as despite how mighty it is the suggestion that The Afterparty is still in the earlier stages of their creative journey is strong. It is another step in their ascent to eagerly relish and breed a hunger over but easy to feel that it is just the beginning of many very notable and inspirational horizons ahead which only increases thrilled anticipation.
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