Tantric After We Go

Producer Toby Wright has taken the watered down sound of Tantric to another plane on the group's sophomore effort, nurturing the part of the band that obviously contained an Alice in Chains gene. After We Go sprouted with a tempo, dual vocal-style and intellectual emotion that the 1990s grunge frontrunners are credited with introducing. Just take one look at the artwork for this record and there is no doubt who they are trying to emulate. Although Tantric has mastered this era-identifying force field, I can't help but repress the urge to scream "This is 2004!" Besides the obvious retro-rock feel, this Louisville, KY quartet has created a record that improves upon their self-titled debut release from 2001. The only not-so-hidden gem on the disc is the opening track "Chasing After." It's a variable jungle of guitars that lead one down a garden path to a clearing of deep, throat-dwelling vocals. Right at the halfway mark of After We Go a cover of Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain" really breaks up the vibe the disc is trying so desperately to create. The track doesn't do anything to showcase the record's style or the band's ability and the disc never fully recovers from the blunder. The last six tracks lack that certain something that make a recording worth listening to repeatedly. The special features on the disc include an interesting but typical "making-of.” Otherwise there are all the features you'd expect (screen savers, icon buddies and such). After We Go isn't much but I will repeat that the opening track is worth a couple of listens. Unfortunately the rest is not. (Warner)