4. White Noise
5. Self Destruct
6. Black And Blue
8. Too Young To Know
10. Pause Rewind
I’m such a klutz. When this album first dropped into my Inbox, my eyes were drawn by the word ‘Therapy’ and I looked at it, slack-jawed and confused for a moment because I wasn’t aware that Irish noiseniks Therapy? had a new album coming out called ‘Tomorrow is Lost’. After a moment however, I noticed the lack of a question mark at the end of the ‘Therapy’ bit and the penny dropped that the band were called Tomorrow Is Lost and that ‘Therapy’ was in fact the name of this, their second album. I was clearly in need of some coffee at the time.
If you’re not aware, Tomorrow Is Lost are a five-piece outfit hailing from Newcastle Upon Tyne that consists of lead singer Cass King, Joe Mac and Ryan O’Hara on guitars, Josh Fodden on Bass and Marc Russ on drums, and the word on the streets (or on t’interwebs at least) is that they’ve been causing quite a stir on the live music scene since their inception in 2017. Indeed, a quick web search for live reviews of their gigs and supporting slots give some hints that they’re really rather good live, and the jewel in the crown of their career so far (until the release of this album, ‘natch) was their performance on one of the hallowed stages of Bloodstock back in August 2019, which will have no doubt left a lasting impression on those who were lucky enough to have witnessed their apparently storming set. Without further ado however, let’s get stuck into the album, which is due for release on the 13th of March through Eclipse Records, and see what the band are all about and how this album stacks up.
After a short but atmospheric intro track, ‘Wildchild’ comes barging unceremoniously into the room with guitars so fuzzy that they almost stick to the walls. Yep, Tomorrow Is Lost don't hang around to make their intentions clear; they're here to rock, you are gonna pay attention and yes, you're gonna have some fun. The song is a riff monster that hits the ground running right from its opening and throws itself into a tumbling dervish of pounding drums and thundering bass. Once lead vocalist Cass pipes up with her vocals you know right away that this band is going to go places because she delivers them with such confidence, her voice brimming with a plucky attitude that makes the song instantly likeable. It's an absolute belter of an opening salvo. Once the opening track has ended, you don’t get much time to breathe because 'Smile' lets rip with an opening riff that breaks out into a groove that's absolutely 100% guaranteed to give your neck muscles some exercise. Cass’s vocals are once again absolutely amazing, and there's a superb bridge to the song's chorus where we really get an impression of how much power she's got behind her voice - it’s a bit of a revelation. It's also evident that the band are firing on all cylinders as Mac & O'Hara's twin guitar attack sounds devastatingly heavy, Fodden's bass is placed well-forward in the mix, giving a real depth to their sound, and the punchy tub thumping of Russ ties their sound nicely together. The song breaks out into a massive riff at the three-quarter mark and there's a nice muted-string guitar chug with slamming drums that reminds me a little bit of Tomorrow Is Lost’s fellow Geordie superstars the Wildhearts. High praise indeed.
The intro to the next track 'White Noise' makes it clear from its outset that it's another one that's gonna rawk like a mofo, but then it throws a surprising twist and jumps sideways into an almost disco-like beat for a few bars complete with high-pitched vocals before clicking back into the heavy-as-bricks sound that was heard on the song’s intro. Cass's performance on this song is fan-feckin'-tastic, and it got me thinking that Tomorrow Is Lost sound a bit like what might have happened if Blondie had gone in a much heavier direction, because her vocals remind me strongly of Deborah Harry’s silvery tones. Anyway, I digress - I should also mention that this song has got an absolutely killer breakdown after its second chorus that will have you playing air guitar as it sounds so bloody EPIC. It's followed by 'Self Destruct', which opens with a chord that's so reminiscent of a certain Metallica song that you swear you're about to hear the growly tones of Hetfield, but it opens with Cass singing softly rather than belting it out, which is actually really rather lovely and shows that she’s got real diversity. It builds up slowly before breaking out into a big, bold and much more mainstream-sounding chorus that makes me believe that it would make a good single to get them noticed by the masses. It's a little bit by-the-numbers as a result, but it's redeemed by a cracking breakdown to a flurry of monstrously heavy guitars and rumbling drums before heading back to its chorus and coming to an end.
The next track 'Black And Blue' turns the dial to '11' and sprinkles the proceedings with a strong dose of attitude. It's a bit of a ballad, but don't let that put you off; it kicks off with monstrously heavy guitars before Cass joins the fray with gentle vocals and the song breaks into a bass-led opening verse and breaks into one of the album's strongest choruses. It's a fantastic track that really shows off her voice to spectacular effect. It’s followed closely by a chunky bass riff that heralds the opening to 'Hideaway', which breaks into a truly spectacular monolithic beast of a riff. Let's get it out in the clear early - this is easily one of the best tracks on the album; it's got a big sing-along chorus, a huge groove that draws you in and it features the perfect blend of heavy and melodic elements. There's not much more in the way of superlatives that I can ladle onto it, but what I will say is that it's the sound of a band hitting their stride and gives a tantalising glimpse of their future endeavours.
The opening to the next track shows a distinct change in direction as it opens with a bluesy acoustic guitar and Cass softly singing, but it's clear that it's going to build into something larger. It does so slowly, and when the heavier guitars come into the mix the song develops a glorious almost Fleetwood Mac-esque quality to it, with lushly layered harmonies and beautiful melodies. After that however, it throws you off the scent by switching direction into a section of chugging riffs and thundering drums before sliding back into the slow but heavy sound that it started with. When the buzzing sound of arcing electricity marks the opening of 'Electric', you know that it’s going to be something a little different, and your suspicions are confirmed when it explodes shortly after that into a huge, fuzzy staccato riff. It's clear that Tomorrow Is Lost have the ability to write incredibly catchy riffs and melodies because this is yet another track that's packed to its rafters with them, with a huge chorus and soaring vocals that set them apart from lesser bands by a very wide margin.
Moving onto the final two tracks, comes 'Pause Rewind', which lifts off with an electronic beat before throwing itself into yet another beefy riff that sounds awesome. From there, the song switches up a gear for its first verse and we get treated to more amazing vocals from Cass and there's a great, catchy chorus. It's a little more by the numbers, but there's a great axe-work towards the end of the track that elevates it into another riff monster. The final track 'Therapy' doesn't hang about; it flies straight into the fray to unleash its payload which detonates in the form of a pleasingly crunchy riff, some great call-and-response moments and another superbly catchy chorus. Like the preceding track, it's a teeny bit less interesting than the earlier tracks on the album, but that by any means doesn't mean it's bad - it's still bloody great and ends the album in an appropriately epic fashion.
Before I get on with the summing-up part of this review, I’m going to take a moment to praise the work done on this album’s production. Whoever did the production and the twiddling of knobs in the studio (That’ll be Dave Boothroyd and Jon Astley - ed) did a very fine job indeed, as the album just sounds absolutely EPIC and will undoubtedly give the band a big kick in the right direction and is best to be listened to at high volume for maximum effect. The thing that really ties the album together is the fact that the band sounds so self-assured and plucky to the point that you could convince yourself that they’ve been going for a decade. It’s not a perfect 10 from me, though; the album does tail off a little towards its end, which on subsequent listens does drag it down a bit - but it’s by no means a deal-breaker.
It’s impossible not to say it, but there’s little trying to deny that Tomorrow Is Lost are going to draw comparisons to Halestorm. To the casual observer, they seemingly fit nicely into the same pigeonhole, but I’ve got a cat to throw in amongst those pigeons - I’m not a big fan of Halestorm. Sure, they sound decent enough and Lizzy’s got a good set of pipes on her, but their music goes a touch too far into the commercial and every-so-slightly cheesy side of things for my liking and they’re just a bit… Well… Bland. On the other hand, Tomorrow Is Lost are actually much, much heavier and although they do slip a little into commercial-sounding territory for a couple of their songs, they balance it out with huge slabs of attitude, colossally heavy guitars and thundering drums that have to heard to be believed - and top top it all off, I actually think that Cass King’s vocals are stronger. Let’s not get into playing ‘Top Trumps’ with the two bands though, because Tomorrow Is Lost are just starting out and would inevitably be trumped at every stage by Halestorm as they’re massively successful - but it’s important to state here that I reckon that Tomorrow Is Lost have the potential to be every bit as successful, if not more so. Now's probably the time to catch them live before they start playing stadiums.
Website - tomorrowislost.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Tomorrowislost/
Review - Craig Henderson