AFTERMYFALL is the moniker of Andrew Kutner, a Los Angeles, California-based singer-songwriter/producer who blends hardcore and metalcore with electronic music. Today, Kutner releases A Future of Meaningless Tomorrows, his third effort in a series of EP releases. The 5-song EP centers around his personal struggles with anxiety and depression. and much like previous releases, contains an ongoing factor of resilience.
“Adversity (SetMeFree)” feels natural as the EP’s opener, having gained traction from its release last May. I appreciate how Kutner’s vocals, alongside the main riff, emit a dry, blunt force that offsets the otherwise colorful, clean, shoegaze-esque textures surrounding the involvement. The environment of the song’s music video seems to set the primary aesthetic for the EP, of a bleak, but ever-expansive world of wonder. I appreciate how the track to follow, “I’ll Find A Way,” begins with a type of White Pony era-inspired Deftones intro. Similar qualities of the song are carried into the track to follow, albeit with a subtly increased emphasis on melody, as well as electronic-based integration. The screaming here is done outright, but it is also used texturally to bolster the instrumentation, while the cleanly-sung backing vocals effectively provide the track supplemental warmth.
By the album’s midpoint, the third track, “Lockjaw,” features a more straightforward approach, with down-tuned guitars and a dissonant lead melody at the forefront. The switch to a midtempo happens seamlessly, this time placing clearer emphasis on the harshness of the guitars, with a unique implementation of harmonics between phases as the song progresses. By the penultimate track, “Your Fire Fades,” the guitars experience a shift into textural noise, matching the aesthetic of the vocals, while the drums are executed as if mimicking a machine gun. Once the breakdown hits, I appreciate how the primary sound shifts to static noise, rather than a standard riff, and the return to the speeding drums work just as well. Up until this point, the atmosphere resembles a downward spiral and conveys a sentiment of having barely survived. But by the final track, “Escape,” the colorful, shoegaze-laden textures return and supplement the intensity of the riffs, signifying a safe way toward normalcy and a new chapter abounding.
Overall, A Future of Meaningless Tomorrows pleasantly surprised me. While there’s a noticeable shift toward predominantly grim vocals, and extra density from the guitars, it is the subtleties from his vocal quality, the additional shoegaze and electronic influence scope that enhance the music, and continue to provide Kutner an identity all his own. I look forward to how the ideas of AFTERMYFALL translate in a future full-length setting.