Tantric

After We Go

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Tantric's sophomore effort is unflinchingly faithful to the formula of their successful 2001 debut. Aided again by Alice in Chains producer Toby Wright, the quartet banks mightily on that band's model, offering a mix of meaty hammer-down riffs, ringing acoustic guitars, and heaping helpings of the two-part harmony sound that's become Alice in Chains' legacy. As Kentuckians, Tantric's ex-Days of the New contingent does fit a pinch of Southern rock between the cheek and gum. But that bit of personality can't possibly shake the characterization of the combo as anything other than mid-level grunge revisionists. "Chasing After" -- "My peace of mind deserts me" -- and "After We Go" -- "All the answers are not quite clear" -- are nearly identical, with thick-headed riffs giving way to Hugo Ferreira's tongue-swallowing bellow. Later, the single "Hey Now" and soundalike cuts like "Change the World" and "Before" opt for what must be nuance, spreading brooding, spidery electric guitar lines over meaningful splash cymbals, slight conventional metal detours, and more reheated melancholia from Ferreira ("I don't have another reason/Why all these thoughts are floating through my head"). A mid-album cover of Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain" (title pun intended?) probably isn't Tantric's commentary on its blatant channeling of a genre over ten years old. But with After We Go, all you hear them saying is that they'll never break the Chain.

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