Album Review: The Black Clouds – After All

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The Black Clouds

After All - Capacitor Records

After All is the third full length from New Jersey rockers The Black Clouds, the album is produced by the godfather of grunge, Jack Endino, and you can tell he’s at the helm on this release from the first fuzzy assault, and it also features Jack Endino and Mudhoney‘s Mark Arm, who both make guest appearances on After All. Although it’s still 2016 as I write this, I’m hoping that the first album I’ve received that is due for release in the new year is going to be a positive sign for the new year, as we end a year that has seen a pretty endless stream of death and political disasters that has afflicted both sides of the Atlantic.
Photograph kicks the album off in fine style with a fine anthemic fuzzy number, and you don’t have time to draw breath before Sayanora kicks things into overdrive. After the distorted twin onslaught the album slowly eases down through the gears with the steadily mellowing trio of Self Control, Leave Her Alone and Falling before things unexpectedly spark back into life. Vice, that features an appearance by Mudhoney‘s Mark Arm, injects a shot of adrenaline back into After All, the energy from the injection keeps the album going through Going Going Gone and Still Alive before the album slips back into relative calm with Merchants Of Death, and finally Days Are So Long see’s After All bow out with the mellowest moment on the album
After All carries all the elements of the grunge scene of the 90’s, it is heavily reminiscent of the likes of Nirvana, L7 and Mudhoney, but there’s also a influence from the bourbon drenched rock ‘n roll tones of the likes of The Supersuckers. Alongside the fuzz and the rock ‘n roll there are mellower moments that stops this being a full tilt fuzz barrage, Jack Endino has produced this album perfectly, the stripped down approach will always suit this kind of music, and overproduction will almost always kill it, the result is an album that borders on being a contemporary grunge classic, and it is one that bears all the hallmarks of the albums that influenced it, but manages to avoid being derivative. However you look at it that means After All marks a positive start to 2017, the album will be released on the 6th January and is currently available for pre-order.
You can pre-order After All on physical formats from Capacitor Records here and digitally from the usual suspects