The Morning AfterSelf Released
By Steven Farkas
Chad Bandit, aka Chad Dorugizzi has obviously gone through a particularly tough time in his life recently which is not something I would ever wish on anyone, but it has provided a rich vein of experiences from which he mines lyrics and crafts the songs on his latest LP, The Morning After.
The record kicks off with the title track, an acoustic driven cautionary tale about trusting the untrustworthy (ie strippers), and the perils of drinking too much and the shame and regret that come with it. The lyrics seem a little forced in parts, but it does feel honest and the melody in the chorus goes some way to redeem it. Riff is reminiscent of Hefner’s Christian Girls (not a bad thing by any stretch).
Summer Anthem delves further into lost loves, and Chad gets himself extra bonus for the references to playing Atari. It’s not breaking any boundaries, but it’s clearly based on his own life experiences, coming across as earnest and honest, which isn’t always easy to translate onto record. The ever so slightly whiskey-soaked nature of the vocals also works incredibly well. Monster, the lead single, tells a tale of internal demons, only showed under the influence of alcohol. Great unexpected melody late in the verse and chorus. Equal parts sounding like The Menzingers and gravel-voiced singer Tyla from 80’s blues rockers Dogs D’Amour. It really is quite impressive.
Despite the numerous highlights and Chad’s knack for writing simple, yet catchy as hell melodies, elements of the record are derivative and start to sound a bit same-y. Bury Me, Highnoon and Rusted Gold all suffer from this malady to differing levels, however the record ends on an upward trajectory with the brilliant Roadtrip Remedy which channels Tape Deck Heart-era Frank Turner and Killing Spree, sad tale of being down and out and feeling desperate after the end of a relationship. There’s a darkness and power to this that is missing in much of the rest of the album. The spoken word bridges could have easily sounded forced and gimmicky but actually fit well and add a fresh and unexpected power to an already great tune.
The power in this album is the honest way these simple stories about universal themes like lost love, regret and the demons that take hold during these times of hardship are told and how much empathy you have when listening. The autobiographical way in which these tales are delivered also doesn’t seem forced and despite some of the lyrics coming together more out of rhyme rather than reason, The Morning After is still a pretty impressive package from start to finish.