REVIEW | The Morning After ‘Cynical’ EP

This Friday is quite a busy for Seattle locals The Morning After. They’re releasing their new EP Cynical, the sequel to their last EP Blunt,which came out last fall. They’re playing the Belltown Bash Friday night alongside other great bands with womxn representation Lemolo, Bearaxe, and Razor Clam.

And on top of all that, their episode of Band in Seattle airs Friday night on Kong Channel 6 at midnight and Sunday night on King 5 at 11:30.

All of this comes right as the band is emerging in a new official lineup, marking a turning point for the young four-piece.

Cynical opens with “Pill,” a surprisingly upbeat song about the opioid epidemic. It’s a track that tackles a touchy subject with delightful morbidity, and the impossible-to-sing-along-to hook “big pharma hurt mama.” This song particularly lets vocalist Bri Ashlee Little’s pipes shine. There’s a range of straightforward belting and just the right amount of screaming. Track 2, “Rose Colored Glasses” is a snakier melody, slinking around the notes with lyrics about as biting as you could get for a f**k-my-ex-boyfriend song.

The standout track on the EP in my opinion is “Oedipus.” It’s an 8-minutes-and-then-some epic, which does kind of follow the three-part format of the namesake material. Whether the topic follows The Three Theban Plays remains to be seen. It’s a heavy, multidimensional track with killer basslines from Stephanie Jones. Her unique way of playing the bass really shows on this one and the next track…

…which brings me to King Cooper. King Cooper is named after drummer Baylee Harper’s late cat. For being a song about a cat, it’s sure heavy and angry. The long-drawn out intro gives Jones and then-guitarist Jonny Barrett a chance to call and response of sort. New guitarist Emmett Lukas will for sure be putting his own spin on the riffs, and we’ll be excited to see what happens on Friday night.

The final track is a charming little departure. “Owen” it half spoken word conversations and half screamy punky vocals repeating “OWEN WILSON!” After the relatively serious and heavy tracks from the rest of the EP, the just over 2-minute “Owen” is like a hilarious little dessert bite. Like a spicy chocolate truffle.

For a band as young as The Morning After (Harper being a 17-year-old drum prodigy), Cynical is a more mature exploration of the band’s influences, showing such growth since their debut Stay For Breakfast. The Morning After is a whole new band, they’ve grown up, and Cynical proves that rock and roll isn’t dead, at least not in this neck of the woods.

Cynical is out this Friday, March 1st.

Abby Williamson is a photographer, writer, and video blogger with a passion for live music – especially the local scene. She recently moved to Seattle after commuting from Gig Harbor for shows an average of once a week for five years, so she’s happy to not have to drive as much and photograph even more concerts! When she’s not elbowing her way up to the front row at a show or sorting through thousands of photos of those shows, Abby also does freelance wedding photography, all the while cultivating a decent-sized following on YouTube. Abby has contributed to several music blogs over the last five years (and she’s really excited to join the SMI team!), and has been published in at least one album booklet for the band, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. She would like people to know that while music photography and writing is a huge passion in her life – she is a fan first, photographer second.