On their sophomore release, After We Go, Tantric again create an
album of mediocre grunge rock. Aided by Alice in Chains producer
Toby Wright, this Days of the New offshoot offer heavy guitar
riffs, stuffed harmony and strained vocals. The songs are formulaic
and the lyrics contrived.
“Chasing After” contrasts hammered-guitars with a
chorus of multi-layered harmonies, showcasing the band’s
ability to produce dense textures and memorable refrains. The
guitar solo is nothing impressive, just a simple riff that’s
slightly expanded. By the end, the repetitive chorus is ingrained
in the listener.
While formulas work and produce the all-important radio single,
there’s a problem inherent in an album that fails to deviate
from such a formula. “Chasing After” is too similar to
other tracks “After We Go” or “Awake.”
Aside from musical likeness, the lyrics deal with analogous topics.
“After We Go” exclaims “After we go / It seems
the same mistakes will carry on … But until then / We have
to realize there’s more to it / Than we could ever see there
was.” “Awake” similarly announces “What if
the life we knew wasn’t dead / It’s only been forgotten
cuz we fought and lost again … That’s not the way to
be.” Thematic lyrics are abundant on many an album, but who
wants to hear singer Hugo Ferreira’s superficial
philosophical ponderings again and again?
There’s nothing blatantly terrible about this album. The
musicianship is decent and Tantric deliver as expected. The single
“Hey Now” is catchy and there’s not exactly a
dire track on the album. And I’ll even temporarily forget the
cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain.” But there
lies an inherent question: What does this album deliver that
hasn’t been delivered before, and why should we care?
Music Review: 1 out of 5 stars