After The Fall – Bittersweet


Album

Bittersweet

Label

MGM

Year

2012

Genre

For Fans Of

Gyroscope - Children Collide - Bodyjar

Summary

A welcome return to form.

Rating

68 / 100

Central Coast rockers After The Fall have flown under the radar for the past few years. While their brand of homegrown guitar rock was in vogue around 2005, aided by popular singles ‘Concrete Boots and ‘Mirror Mirror‘, they haven’t done a whole lot since that’s really garnered the same level of hype. But to be fair, it probably wasn’t their fault. As we all know, what’s popular is cyclical and trends come and go. Guitar rock may have been placed on the back burner by electro around the turn of the decade, but it’s starting to make a comeback thanks to more Australian bands choosing distortion pedals over keyboards. Some would say there’s a mini revival in rock and grunge going on – a claim After The Fall’s fourth album, Bittersweet, lends weight to.

The title of opener ‘Same Old Thing‘ is ironic given the direction the band maintain on Bittersweet, namely it’s exactly what it says it is: the same old After The Fall. You know the idiom, "if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it"? Well, it’s very fitting in this case. Let’s just say that if you liked them before you’re probably going to like this album. Fans will come swooning to the familiar guitar-driven and hook-laden pop that made them so popular in the first place, something that’s not a bad thing at all. There are more than a few Australian bands out there who could learn a thing or two from After The Fall‘s knack for cramming infectious vocal hooks into 3 – 4 minute radio-friendly jams (just have a listen to ‘Nothing But Black or ‘Raise Your Voice‘). Sure, they don’t reinvent the alternative rock wheel by any stretch of the imagination, but they’re catchy enough to throw on and tap your foot to, which is exactly what you need some days, right?

What After The Fall lack in stylistic progression they make up for in straight-up rocking songs. ‘The Fire Is Gone‘ features the kind of anthemic chorus that will entice plenty of sing-alongs in a live setting. It’s packed tightly with uplifting vibes and soaring guitars. Meanwhile, Lies and the title-track pack a little more venom, with a slightly darker aesthetic and frontman Ben Windsor‘s cries of `you make me sick, but you’re so fit’ on the latter. And what Australian rock record would be complete without a mid-tempo ballad? Here it’s Lost It Again‘, which fills the quota.

Conclusion

After The Fall know what they’re good at and play to their strengths on album number four. Bittersweet serves up an instantly familiar sound that fans will embrace with open arms. It’s not revolutionary stuff, but it’s catchy and playful enough to justify repeated spins. Not bad.

Tracklisting

1. Same Old Thing
2. Nothing But Black
3. Raise Your Voice
4. The Fire Is Gone
5. Bittersweet
6. Lost It Again
7. All I Am
8. Lies
9. RAH!
10. Dirty Sheets
11. Never Again

Leave a Reply

You must be registered and logged in to comment on this post.