Released against a backdrop of record label issues, an unannounced hiatus and nearly ten years of silence, After All This Has Gone could so easily have been an unsuccessful attempt to replicate the glories of the past. But Lethargy's first album since the demise of Powerage Records is, for the most part, an exciting and enjoyable record – one that will no doubt please their loyal fans.
Amphetamine is a thrillingly powerful opener, almost matched in intensity by the closer Low Tide. But there are a couple of missteps along the way, notably on The City Absorb and several songs you feel you've heard before (a recurring problem throughout the album), but when Lethargy lock into an engaging riff, as on After All and No Horizon, there are very few better rock songs released this year.
Lethergy's only problem is that they have the same musical ambitions as just about every other hard rock band these days and therefore the same drawbacks. On many of the tracks, Lethargy sound like a band treading water, one sticking to tried and tested techniques. Musically, the band too often resort to variations of the same kind of songwriting methods that listeners have become accustomed to when listening to grunge-influenced rock.
Lethargy's vocals, however, are a cut above most of their contemporaries, thanks largely to their charismatic and talented frontman Andrew Hunt, whose impressive and ear-splitting rock vocals carry the album. What's more, the rest of the band are more than able to complement their singer's vocals with multi-part harmonies that deftly match the precision of Gareth Hunt and Marc Trevelyan Jones' rhythm section.
Sure, the songwriting can sometimes be one-dimensional, particularly when the band follows the loud-quiet-loud dynamic overused by most rock bands. Yet despite this, Lethargy's choruses are extremely good. After All This Has Gone has over ten outstanding vocal melodies on it, choruses so epic they erect stadiums in your head while you listen to them - Strike The Sky, No Horizon, Redefine and the previously mentioned After All. Each one sounds like it could level an arena.
If you were wondering whether the album was worth the ten-year wait, then the answer is yes. After All This Has Gone is essentially a legacy album that showcases what made the band such an exciting prospect back in the early 2000s. You can download After All This Has Gone via Big Cartel at https://lethargymusic.bigcartel.com/
George Miles - Follow Me on Twitter @GeorgeMiles6