Home > Album Reviews > The Aftermath – ‘Friendlier Up Here’ (Live Transmission Records, 2006)

The Aftermath – ‘Friendlier Up Here’ (Live Transmission Records, 2006)

Friendlier Up Here

Friendlier Up Here

What can I say? This album was years in the making, and features some of Ireland’s best indie tracks at the moment, and all of them by The Aftermath. The first track ‘Are You Not Wanting Me Yet’ is straight up indie, with a catchy as fuck guitar riff enticing you to stick around and listen to the rest of “Friendlier Up Here”. Lead guitarist Justin McNabb’s little fills sit well on the track, while Johnny distinct vocal begs the question, are you not wanting me yet? and if you aren’t already, by the time you listen to the whole of the album, you almost certainly will.

Bringing the tone down a few notches, ‘I Wish my Love Would Die’ is anti-love song if anything. Johnny’s hushed vocal and guitar tempt you in until a minute and a half when the rest of the band kick in, and you begin to wonder what exactly has some woman done to our tortured front man as he screams the title. Backed yet again by another catchy riff, the subtle bass playing of Martin Grey fills out the rest of the song, as it slowly builds into a crescendo of straight up rock.

‘Northern Lingerie’ whose lyrics supplied the album title, is another hidden gem, I’m starting to think there must be something in the water in Mullingar, as Johnny’s has a knack for writing radio friendly tunes, just like The Blizzards can write pop songs.

‘All I Want For You Is To Be Happy’ is ‘Friendlier Up Here’s love song, with The Aftermath sticking to what they know; catchy riffs, meaningful lyrics, and knowing what it takes to write a cracking radio friendly tune.

Chilling out, with bass heavy ‘Joyful Mystery’, Johnny’s vocals really come into their own in this track, and as his own personal favourite track, one listen tells you why.

‘Need’: once through, and you know the lyrics, twice through and your singing along.

Other gems hidden throughout the album include upbeat pop rock ‘Hollywood Remake’ and acoustic number ‘There Is A Darkness’.

There’s a song for every occasion, whether it’s for that rainy day listening to “Overlooking Paris” wondering where that ex girlfriend is or singing along to “Are You Not Wanting Me Yet?” as you swallow that last gin and OJ before heading out to hit the town.

Ending on the sombre ‘Song of a Graveyard’, as Johnny tells us of his love of the dead, the past hour, has seen you brought up high and to a crashing low with The Aftermath and their music, and cause of that you feel as if you’ve known them a lot longer.

The album sees guest appearances from Helen Turner (Paul Weller Band), Steve Wickham, Vivienne Long, (Damien Rice Band) and Terry Edwards (The Tindersticks) and the overall finished sound shows it, hard to believe they did it all independently. Universal Ireland missed out big time when they came to Mullingar to check out The Blizzards. Why this band isn’t bigger, I don’t know, but one thing I do know is that you’re depriving yourself by not owning this album. Now bugger off while I give it another listen.

The Aftermath – Are You Not Wanting Me Yet?

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  1. October 8, 2011 at 9:52 am

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