Thunder from Down Under
Australian psych-rockers The Morning After Girls continue to bring out their shoegaze sound on Alone, their third studio album. Hazy, distorted guitars and vocalist Sacha Lucashenko’s eerie croons blend and swirl through an ambient sonic landscape, leaving you adrift in the wash of noise.
“Best Explanation” brings you into a lulling, dreamy haze of spacey effects and static backed by an acoustic guitar. Alone is littered with minor tones, electro-acoustic ballads, and fuzzy guitars—”Part of Your Nature” and “Still Falling” sound fairly similar to “Best Explanation,” helping to create thematic unity through the album.
Another stylistic vein, one with energetic guitar riffs and waves of noise flowing through layers of instrumentation, courses through most of the remaining tracks on the album. “The General Public,” “To Be Your Loss,” and “Who is They” fall into this category, showing the band’s tendency toward mesmerizing shoegaze jam sessions. “Alone,” the album’s best (and first) moment, starts with a swaying, slightly fuzzy guitar part and leads into a dreamy waltz that lasts through the entire album.
“There’s a Taking” stands out from the rest of Alone. Lucaschenko’s ethereal voice chants above soft vibrato strings, accompanied by a high, floating female vocalist. It’s a brief encounter, but it highlights the band’s attention to sound beyond loud guitars and driving beats. “Tomorrow’s Time” has a similar feel, where echoing guitar tones create a sense of space in a slow, minimalist ballad.
Alone flows effortlessly between tracks, streaming through about 50 minutes of music. Its homogeneity, however, teeters on the edge of a flatline; many of the songs sound so alike, it’s difficult to tell if the album ever goes anywhere between the first and final tracks. The Morning After Girls’ talent keeps their momentum going, but just barely.