Afraid of Tomorrows review | The Mysterines dive into anxiety and addiction

The Mysterines return with Afraid of Tomorrows, a gritty, grunge-infused ride. Read our in-depth review.

The music scene has been graced—or rather haunted—by the return of The Mysterines with their latest offering, Afraid of Tomorrows. Released on Friday, 21st June, this album marks a significant, albeit darker, evolution for our Liverpudlian alt-rockers. Fronted by the inimitable Lia Metcalfe, the band plunges into the murky depths of human experience, grappling with anxiety, addiction, and the inevitable disquiet of simply being alive.

From the opening strains of ‘The Last Dance’, we are immediately thrust into an acoustic whirlwind, a place where whispered outros and eerie lyrics lead us deeper and deeper. Then comes ‘Stray’, the lead single, offering a rhythmic peaen to loneliness, while ‘Hawkmoon’ transforms from an acoustic ballad into a full-band crescendo.

mysterines afraid of tomorrows
Afraid Of Tomorrows album artwork

It’s a switch that underscores the band’s growth since their last album, 2022’s Reeling, their versatility now picking up pace. ‘Tired Animal’ channels the heavy, sombre tones of Alice in Chains, contrasting starkly with the relative exuberance of ‘Sink Ya Teeth’, a rare moment of levity in an otherwise low collection. The persistent theme of time, explored in ‘Another, Another, Another’, reverberates with a ticking urgency that heightens the album’s existential tension.

READ MORE: The Mysterines interview: ‘I went to Mass to purge my soul after the weekend’

Afraid of Tomorrows owes much of its raw, unvarnished sound to the deft hand of Grammy-winner John Congleton. His production strips away the superfluous, laying bare a gritty, post-punk and grunge-infused aesthetic that perfectly complements the darkness. Congleton’s previous work with Phoebe Bridgers and Chelsea Wolfe is evident here, his touch lending a stark clarity to the arrangements.

Other critics haven’t been remiss in their praise, either. The consensus is unequivocal: Afraid of Tomorrows is a bold, ambitious follow-up to The Mysterines’ debut, a compelling and potent exploration of the darker corners of our lives. The Mysterines have avoided the dreaded sophomore slump and embraced their evolution with a fearless dive into the abyss.

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