Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

The Mysterines dig into their psyche's darker side on Afraid of Tomorrow

"Afraid Of Tomorrow"

Release date: 21 June 2024
The Mysterines Afraid of Tomorrow cover
05 June 2024, 09:00 Written by Matt Young

It becomes apparent early into listening to Afraid of Tomorrow that we’re being granted access to a fresh level of personal experiences that the debut album by The MysterinesReeling wasn’t offering.

Despite singer, songwriter and guitarist Lia Metcalfe never shying away from baring her soul or delivering confessional heartbreak, it’s clearer now more than ever that she’s delving into murkier waters about paranoia, guilt, and maybe imposter syndrome, or certainly feelings of grandiosity. Mostly, it’s about the lure of temptation in all potential forms, especially as the bristling energy of lead single “Stray” swaggers from the speakers.

As well as the PJ Harvey comparisons that the band's sound and Metcalfes’ singing drew on their first album there is a whole slew of influences that can be pinpointed and labeled here. By their own admission, they’ve found inspiration in the 1990s and 2000s New York scenes that included The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and LCD Soundsystem but there’s also a fair portion of Garbage’s pop rock anthem building in there too.

Afraid of Tomorrow is produced by John Congleton, a long-time collaborator and producer with for St Vincent and Explosions in the Sky as well as many breakthrough guitar-slinging luminaries such as Sharon Van Etten, Bully, and Angel Olson and his history for melding the alt-rock guitar with a poppier sound works incredibly well for The Mysterines. Of course this isn’t the Lia Metcalfe solo show by any means, co-writer Paul Crilly (drums) and George Favager (bass), Callum Thompson (guitar) round out the music and vocals with emphasis and space as required, the more delicate “Hawkmoon” which expands into a sonic explosion of epic proportions and a prowling, dangerous “Jesse You’re a Superstar” each bring their unique flavours, the latter is especially yearning in tone and sounds desperate by it’s close.

As if leaning close into the microphone the quartet maintains an intimacy to their scuffed grunge underbelly, that rasping sound given extra polish here and there. “Tired Animal”, “Stray” and “Sink Ya Teeth” are all amped-up infectious earworms with their respective choruses pile-driving into your brain, ripping through stadium-fit anthems with big riffs and belted vocals. In the same way that the more personal atmosphere of “Inside A Matchbox” aches as it spills out its heartfelt drama. For all the influences mentioned so far, there’s also a hint of Placebo in the mix here and there. That mix of buoyant riffing, scowled vocals blasting into the void against a backdrop of delicious hammered percussion and downbeat bass.

Both “So Long” and “Afraid of Tomorrows”, the self-titled album closer, echo the calmer, mysterious finish to their debut, reflecting favourably on the sentiments sung about previously, with Metcalfes sweet vocals floating on the former and Patti Smith-esque enigmatic poetry filling the latter.

Whereas Reeling set out a blueprint for The Mysterines initial sound and approach Afraid of Tomorows faces the reappraised extent of that band's ambitions and dreams. They’re far from world-weary but they now describe a future touched by reality, for better and for worse. A strong love and fight for life and its experiences drives this album forward and even though it ends with Metcalfe singing. “I’m so afraid of tomorrow", you can only envisage great things awaiting them with this brand-new set of musical armour going forward.

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