Life is crazy, isn’t it? I figured that with shows slowing down, I would have so much more time to do album reviews but here I am, still struggling to find the time. That being said, I’m desperate for some new music to soundtrack this crazy life so I’m putting work on the back burner for a wee bit so I can check out some new music starting with After Yellow Red’s new self-titled EP.

As soon as “Distance Over Safety” took over my house, I found myself drifting away from the stressed-out reality I had been living in lately. There’s something oddly atmospheric and spacey about this track while being far from ambient. In about half a minute, the atmospheric nature of this opening track is interrupted by what can only be an explosion of sound but it’s far from startling, somehow it made sense with where it came in on this track and instantly pulled me into After Yellow Red’s world. Although it’s over a minute until the vocals come in, they absolutely pack a punch when they do. A tender and sensitive tone with an almost pop-punk underlying vibe behind them, I found myself completely lost as the words flew by one by one. This song may be just over five minutes long but it felt like it was over in the blink of an eye and, before I knew it, the album had moved onto “I Swear I’m Not Okay”.

Full disclosure, “I Swear I’m Not Okay” is one of the tracks I heard from After Yellow Red before agreeing to do an album review and, as soon as it started playing, I remembered why I had been so intrigued. Although the overall mood of this track is, well moody, which isn’t really matching with my current status of the excitement you get when you meet someone new and start seeing them (yeah, life is weird), I loved the emotional power of this track. Sure, the word choice didn’t fit for me tonight but the overall passion that comes through in this song absolutely hit me right in the heart. The perfect balance of tenderness and power that After Yellow Red pulls off so effortlessly continues into “Without the Bitter, the Sweet Ain’t as Sweet” which was instantly my favorite track on the EP. I found myself completely struck by the undeniable passion and emotion that drips from this track and completely ignoring the lyrics (which is what I typically fall for). It really says a lot when a band is able to make me focus more on the overall sound than specific words but After Yellow Red does it so perfectly. I’m also the type that typically can’t stay committed to a track for over three minutes but I realized as this song played through that all of the tracks on this EP are over four minutes long. I honestly probably wouldn’t have noticed that had I not looked because each track (thus far, at least) had captured my heart and soul so quickly and easily.

“Amie” is another track that I had heard prior to this review so it was almost comforting to hear it take over my house now. A little bit more of an infectious beat while still having After Yellow Red’s signature passion and emotion-drenched vibe, this song reminds me of some of the great pop-punk bands of days gone by. Think a little Mayday Parade mixed with maybe a little Hidden in Plain View (shout out to the OG’s that remember that amazing band) but with some hidden almost post-punk elements that keep this track from feeling overly emo or whiney. What I’m trying to say is yet again, After Yellow Red has found a perfect balance of many things that I love in “Amie” creating yet another flawless track that seemed to be over far quicker than I wanted it to be.

This five-song EP ends with “It Was More Like Conceding”. The band doesn’t try to throw anything new at you with this final song and, instead, just continues to blast you with their signature power and emotion that is something that will surely be stuck in my head when I finally go to bed tonight. An anthemic intro hooks you into this track before giving way to the beautiful vocals and even more beautiful words. Although I will stand by what I said about this final song not really throwing anything new at you, I will note that the emotion felt with each word seems to have a little bit more of an angsty edge to it which really helped end this EP on a super emphasized note.

Even though every song was over four minutes long, every song seemed to quick. Five songs is just not enough for this band and I can’t wait to dig into their other material and go down that rabbithole. This is a powerful band that absolutely deserves your attention so what are you doing… stop reading my ramblings and go listen!

My Favorite Track(s): “Without the Bitter, the Sweet Ain’t As Sweet”

For Fans Of: Undeniable Power and Emotion; Nostalgia; Feelings

Mosh-ability: 5 out of 10

What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie slept on the back of the couch; Autumn slept upstairs

How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 8 out of 10

My Overall Rating: 8.5 out of 10

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