Album Reviews

Morning After Girls – Shadows Evolve

(Best Before) UK release date: 26 June 2006

Following the recent release of the Run For Our Lives single, this is the debut album from the Australian quintet. It’s not so much an album as a soundscape, and it takes you on a roller-coaster journey through the world of the Morning After Girls. The name, however, is somewhat misleading as the only girl in the band is Aimee Nash, who some may remember from a brief appearance as a vampiric chanteuse in Queen of the Damned.

Their website blurb informs you that they don’t fall into any categories, and this is a completely accurate description in a very good way. In an era where most albums are about as varied as Status Quo this is a definite breath of fresh air. With so many styles there are obviously going to be a lot of influences, and you can just catch them scattered throughout the assembled tunes as a hint of ’90s here, a nod to the ’80s there and a nice little soup�on of 70s for good measure.

The reviews they’ve been getting that are along the lines of “that’s so ten years ago daahhling” are totally missing the point. For a start there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Do we really need to listen to more insipid slices of banality that bands like Embrace seem happy to inflict on us?

Describing their sound is next to am impossibility as every track is its own entity and a list of adjectives would take up far too much of this review without getting even halfway there – but psychedelic, distorted, harmonic, spaced-out, dreamy, hypnotic and infectious will do for starters.

There’s no single band that merits a direct comparison, but you can’t help but notice overtones and similarities with bands like the Dandy Warhols, Sonic Youth and the Hives in tracks like Run for Our Lives, Straight Through You and Shadows Evolve, but there are also songs more along the lines of Morcheeba and hints of Simon & Garfunkel in the haunting Hidden Spaces and Lazy Greys. Another gem is Slowdown, which is a delicious blend of strands and, with its droning guitars, could easily grace a Tarantino soundtrack.

This album is like one of the compilations you make before going on holiday, with all your favourite tracks from a variety of genres that you listen to over and over again without getting tired of it or using your skip facility. Even the twisted instrumental opening track and Fall Before Walking, which is an unexpected blast of serrated white noise, merit repeated attention. There are tracks that have you tapping your feet, there are tracks that are just made for chilling out by a pool and there are tracks that would have a student mosh-pit packed in ten seconds flat. The best bit is that as an entity the album works perfectly. The variety is remarkable, and with each subsequent hearing you spot a new reference or influence.

If you’re tired of buying albums that you listen to twice before transferring the three good tracks to your iPod then it’s about time you made the acquaintance of the Morning After Girls. Considering what else is around at the moment, it’s not a purchase you’ll regret making.

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Morning After Girls – Shadows Evolve