Aking’s 4th studio album has landed and boy was I in for a surprise…
I can’t count even count the amount of times I’ve heard fans from all walks of live complain: “I only like ‘old’ so and so”… ISO, Zebra & Giraffe , Taxi violence and most certainly aKing… Nothing will ever come close to the brilliance of Dutch Courage and Against All Odds, this is a fact. But with morning after they came damn near close!
Right from the first track you feel as if the guys are literally singing like it’s the last chance they will ever get. Balls to the walls energy in vocals and playing and they don’t get lost in trying to push the limits of “being different”. They stay true to a simpler style of playing and take advantage of the layering they can achieve with two great guitarists like Laudo and Andrew. They also finally revert back to their “3-piece vocals” they have always claimed but struggled to implement in Red Blooded Years. They have quite a number of upbeat tracks that fill me with an inexplicable sense of optimism. The kind I only get from listening to The Proclaimers. When they do slow the pace down like in Loving Memory they keep it interesting with subtle drum beats perfectly placed to still keep it catchy.
Try as I might, when the first track is not strong enough, I can’t bring myself to feel positive about the rest of the album. Luckily this album does not have that problem. The first 5 tracks felt like a rush of energy from beginning to end, no matter the pace. The instrumental aspects are tight and well thought trough and they have tried some interesting new techniques with their vocal parings. They masterfully combine Laudo’s trademark lower tones with Andrew and Hennie’s higher pitches to serve up something very unique that you will certainly not find with any other band. This is very evident on the track Man Unkind that was also their first music video from the album.
There are many strong tracks on the album and it won’t be difficult to choose the singles to come from it. To be honest there weren’t any specific tracks that I disliked, I would just liked to have see one more stripped down song on the bill. It becomes exhausting to listen to SO much head-banging awesomeness that you often long for that little break in-between when you can breathe for a few seconds.
Morning After is an all round success for the guys and certainty something to be proud of. I would also strongly recommend you buy the physical copy instead of going digital as this album also boasts with some of the most beautiful artwork I have seen in a while.