New York City alt-rock outfit In The Next Life recently released 4FriendsInARoomWithAGun, a collection of songs designed to “make you sweat, drive faster, laugh, cry, stick a lighter in the air, sing along, play “air” instruments, start a mosh pit in your car, wake up to what’s going on around you, and become a leader and not a sheep.”
Made up of Caroleen Stewart (vocals), Charles A. Cudd II (guitar), John McDonald (bass), and Flavius Vasile (drums), In The Next Life’s sound defies pigeonholing because of its wide-ranging savors of rock, pop, metal, jazz, and Latin.
Comprising five-tracks, 4FriendsInARoomWithAGun begins with “Manica Satanica,” opening on a demonic laugh flowing into a cavernous rumbling rhythm topped by dark heavy guitars, akin to Latin-flavored death metal merged with post-punk dynamics. Stewart’s deliciously wicked voice infuses the lyrics with tantalizing ominous colors.
“Hope Dies” travels on a gentle, almost elegant acoustic guitar, as Stewart’s marvelously melodic tones glide overhead. As the guitar swells, her voice soars on majestic crystalline tones embellished with gorgeous timbres.
“Ashes and Dust” rides reverberating percussion topped by dense opaque guitar hues flowing into a potent alt-rock melody throbbing with hefty resonance. On the chorus, a grinding psychedelic guitar imbues the tune with skintight dynamics. Stewart’s voice soars upward leading to growling nu metal guitars full of muscular surging textures.
“Living In The Moment” exudes dirty grungy textures, deep and grating. The gravitational pull of the harmonics takes on doom-like aspects, thick and crunching. A hushed breakdown shifts the flow of the tune, infusing it with murky jazz flavors riding resounding drums capped by rounded subterranean tones, plump and viscous. The guitars fade into a stellar heavyweight drum solo, prior to reentering as the song climaxes.
The final track presents the plugged-in version of “Hope Dies,” initially featuring gleaming guitars crowned by Stewart’s rich, velvety voice. As heaving muddy guitars assume dominance, the tune intensifies, shouldering visceral coloration of vast force.
4FriendsInARoomWithAGun has it all: passion, compelling rhythms, and galvanizing textures. The icing on the cake is the lush voice of Caroleen Stewart. The album truly does make you sweat and drive faster.