We’re in a fortunate position where we get to watch bands grow right from the beginning more often than not. And nowhere is that more true than Tomorrow is Lost, never spending much time away from our pages since their inception. Their EP, The Shadowman, which topped off an incredible year for releases in 2018 saw them show what they were capable of – various different flavours of modern hard rock but reined in to prevent it becoming disjointed.
2019 saw a whole load of touring, including winning the Newcastle heats of Metal 2 the Masses and subsequently assaulting the New Blood stage with a fervent performance. Naturally, it means that the long-awaited debut album has caused the build-up of anticipation as anyone who has heard or seen the quintet will know they’re only going to deliver the best. But it’s a wait that’s more than worth it. If you’re expecting The Shadowman in a longer form, this might come as a bit of a shock.
Therapy isn’t more of the same found on that EP but nor is it a complete departure. Instead, this debut album straddles that line with perfect balance. If you know the band already, this is more growth than you were probably expecting and admittedly, it took several listens to sit right with me. But from that first playthrough, there was something obvious in it: it’s geniality. Something which is sadly lacking far too often in today’s landscape. This album is unapologetically Tomorrow is Lost.
Once the eerie introductory track finishes, it welcomes the driving “Wildchild” with its filthy bass and thunderous riffs is Tomorrow is Lost’s mission statement: take no prisoners. But it’s also them making themselves clear from the start – expect a few curveballs on the way to the end. Taking cues from their past EP, each song has its own unique identity and feel without the album trying to do too much. But in the same sense of all the best rock bands, each number says and does what it needs to and gets the hell out of the road. In fact, it leads a few tracks clocking in under three minutes and nothing even comes close to scraping the five-minute mark.
In that sense, it’s no-nonsense rock and roll but there’s so much more going on in the tracks that to describe this album as that would be reductive, even if that is the best kind of rock and roll. Sure, all those parts are still there but there’s a complexity to it on an enjoyable level, not one which makes it inaccessible. “Smile” is full of crunches and industrial tones whilst “White Noise” is equal parts sultry and moody to the backdrop of driving guitars.
Elsewhere, “Hideaway” has a slightly poppier tone to it, one of the catchiest numbers on the album, full of hooks and shows the band at their best – bright with menacing guitars and a chorus for a live crowd to join in with. Meanwhile “Electric”, “Pause Rewind” and title track “Therapy” are the most straightforward rockers and even then, they toy with what that is. There’s more of an alternative slant to these but keeps the DNA of the band at the core. And if you’re looking for something a bit slower “Black and Blue” and “Too Young to Know” will more than see you covered as the album’s big ballad moments, never killing the momentum but capitalising on it.
There’s an underlying sense of graft here, the band having poured everything they have into this and at no point does it feel rushed. No-one overshadows anyone here, vocalist Cass King shows the full extent of her vocal abilities whilst next to her, guitarists Ryan O’Hara and Joe McDermott complement each other perfect, winding around one another – gritty and full-on at points and perfectly restrained in others. And next to them, Josh Fodden’s bass rumbles perfectly in time with the drum work of Marc Rush. This really is a band more than the sum of their parts, here, we’ve got a perfect line-up working together to the point where your attention is constantly pulled from one aspect to the next at the right point. Between the production, the pacing and the crafting of songs themselves, this is a lesson in how to make an album. This isn’t an album to listen to once and say “This is great, I’ll listen to that again,” of course, you’ll say that regardless but it’s one which purposefully requires several listens to appreciate it to the full extent.
Repositioning themselves from the traditional modern hard rock sound brings so many new elements and flavours to the Tomorrow is Lost table. Yes, Therapy still sounds modern and indeed, looks to the future but there’s so much depth to the album without becoming cluttered. It redefines who they are whilst reaffirming the cornerstone they’ve built their name on – let the music do the talking. As cliché as the phrase may be, this album really is “all killer, no filler” and will easily be one of the best releases you’ll hear in 2020.
Therapy is released on 13th March
Header image by Reece Carney