Altamina began as a two-piece instrumental project between Marco Gervais and François Graham and pitted Graham’s electronic drum kits against Gervais’ high-powered synthesizers. The pair released their first record Silver Landing in a Barren Land in 2012 and then took on bassist Roxanne Miller and drummer Matt Davis, and Gervais took to the guitar and Graham took up the keys and vocal duties.
Tomorrow Morning Will Be Tonight opens promisingly with the astral beauty “Under the Black Sea” which pairs a simple staccato drum track with ebullient synths and catchy piano riff. Over this Graham lays his gloomy baritone in the vein of The National’s Matt Berninger.
Altamina picks up the pace a little bit on the semi-rock telescope, puts the guitar at the forefront of the mix for half the song before hanging back and taking the song into the realm of the emotional and introspective piano ballad, and then returning to the aforementioned semi-rock from which it began. It threatens to build yet it never does, which in a sense is rather disappointing. And oddly enough the following track, ironically entitled “Storm,” also fails to build to anything near the end, though Altimina teases the listener that this time they might lose it and rock out, they again chose to go out quietly.
The song “Tonight,” is Altimina’s most National-esque and is without question the band’s favorite and probably the best choice for a leadoff single. Listening to it, hearing the force each member is putting forth, the effort to get this one right is precisely what the rest of Tomorrow Morning Will Be Tonight is sometimes lacking. “Bunkers” and “Follower” are interchangeable piano based ballads, which sound like record filler more than fully realized songs. Later “Drifter” sounds like a hollow demo.
Tomorrow Morning Will Be Tonight does little to initially grab the listener’s attention. With limited exception each song has a redundantly drab feeling to it, yet often fails to sound emotional. It’s like playing sheet music and reading from notecards. On the upside Tomorrow Morning Will Be Tonight does have a solid foundation, which Altamina can build on.
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