Album Reviews

The Mysterines – Afraid Of Tomorrows

(Fiction) UK release date: 21 June 2024

Simple, vital rock music that actually rocks from a band that is unafraid of a lick, a riff, or a thick, meaty rhythm

The Mysterines - Afraid Of Tomorrows The Mysterines are bloody wonderful. They make simple, vital rock music that actually rocks – a rarity in the world of subgenres and prefixes and ironic detachment and so forth. They clearly enjoy The Stooges, Nirvana, Hole, PJ Harvey and maybe a little Sonic Youth …and they’re unafraid of a lick, a riff, or a thick, meaty rhythm. Their last album, 2022’s Reeling, was a surprisingly accomplished record, but this new one, Afraid Of Tomorrows, is lightyears ahead of it. 

The brooding gothic swing of opener The Last Dance is just overwhelmingly powerful – it’s reminiscent of both Fontaines DC and Iceage. It manages to be lithe and muscular, graceful yet gritty. It also sets out the band’s stall quite nicely, as it contains all of the things the band have come to make their own, from Lia Metcalfe’s rich and distinctive vocals, to the dynamic interplay between her bandmates (drummer Paul Crilly, bassist George Favager and guitarist Callum Thompson) that’s clearly influenced by the standard-bearers of yore but always seems to be looking forward. 

It immediately drops into Stray, which has Kurt Cobain’s fingerprints all over the riff, but a tightly coiled disco beat holding it down. It’s a wonderful juxtaposition between wild and restrained. It’s another example of how the band have a fantastic knack for taking a piece of inspiration and churning it into something refreshing. Jesse You’re A Superstar comes close to Nirvana territory, too – this time it evokes Something in the Way. 

Tired Animal retains the same fire as the songs before it, but the band switch things up a little with Hawkmoon, which is a beautifully restrained track that offers a nice contrast to the album’s darker moments. It’s a song that doesn’t necessarily seem essential at first listen, especially as it seems to be some kind of token gesture on an album where almost everything rocks, but with repeated listens it holds its own. It might also point towards a sound they might explore in the future. Inside A Matchbox is another avenue they take – a softly swirling psychedelic number that reeks of Nag Champa and patchouli oil. 

Then Sink Ya Teeth takes them closer than they’ve ever been to full-throttle abandon – and there are moments in the song where you swear they might turn into Queens Of The Stone Age. Junkyard Angel is another highlight, with its textural finesse – as expected, it’s a crunchy, blown-out blues rocker, which is a weapon the band clearly have in their arsenal and probably could make more use of.  

The Mysterines are clearly one of the best bands we have to offer here in the UK, and they make a great point of proving themselves time and again across this wonderful, strange album. They’ve played arenas before, supporting Arctic Monkeys, but it won’t be long before stages of that size beckon for their own headline slots. Superb.

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More on The Mysterines
The Mysterines – Afraid Of Tomorrows
The Mysterines – Reeling