In The Next Life 4FriendsInARoomWithAgun EP Cover
The cover for alt-rock band In The Next Life’s pop-metal EP, ‘4FriendsInARoomWithAGun.’

Band: In The Next Life; Caroleen Stewart: vocals Charles A. Cudd II: guitar; John McDonald: bass; and Flavius Vasile: drums

EP: ‘4FriendsInARoomWithAgun’

Learning to live for the present, and appreciating what they currently have, can be a daunting process for many people, especially those who thrive on preparing for the future. But the New York City-based alt-rock band, In The Next Life, is striving to remind its listeners to not take anything for granted, as their lives can completely change in a spontaneous moment. That compelling message is intriguingly emphasized in the quartet’s newly released rock-pop-metal five-track EP, ‘4FriendsInARoomWithAgun.’ Led by singer Caroleen Stewart, the album intriguingly blends the group’s tender sentiments with its signature intense instrumentation.

‘4FriendsInARoomWithAgun’ begins with the hard rock-driven entry, ‘Manica Satanica.’ Immediately introducing Stewart’s trademark metal vocals, which are supported by pulsating, thunderous guitars, the singer commandingly emotes in a voice that’s driven by a tantalizing ominous rhythm that she’s searching for a way to take power. The post-punk, rumbling rhythm that drives the introductory song effortlessly sets the tone for the rest of the EP.

‘Manica Satanica’ transitions into ‘4FriendsInARoomWithAgun’s sophomore tune, ‘Hope Dies (Acoustic),’ which is driven by the band’s most delicate, refined instrumentation and vocals. The elegant acoustic guitar supports Stewart’s stunningly melodic tones, as she recounts the process of lying in an empty room, where the silence is piercing her environment. She naturally makes listeners question how to contend with weaknesses and strengths when she ponders what people should do when their hope dies in the inspirational rock album’s vulnerable version of the song, which later reappears as the EP’s last track.

The middle entry on In The Next Life’s new album is ‘Ashes and Dust,’ which shows the quartet’s full range of musicality. The song is driven by vibrant percussion and intriguing nu metal guitar riffs that freely flow into a robust alt-rock melody that supports Stewart’s growling vocals. The texture and dynamic track chronicles the difficult journey of accepting relationships for what they are, which often can turn to the title ash and dust.

‘4FriendsInARoomWithAgun’ begins to wind down with the textured, grunge-driven penultimate tune, ‘Living in the Moment.’ Stellar jazz undertones drive the song’s electrifying rock guitar riffs and drum beats, which support the idea that tomorrow’s not promised to anyone. Stewart assesses that everyone takes their future for granted, so people should live for the moment.

In The Next Life’s latest EP comes to an end with the soulful, classic rendition of ‘Hope Dies.’ The last track on the album features gleaming guitars that support Stewart’s signature rock rich, dominating vocals.

Learning to live for the present, and appreciating what they currently have, can be a frightening process for many people, especially those who thrive on preparing for the future. But In The Next Life is determined to remind its listeners to not take anything for granted, as their lives can completely change in any given moment. That fascinating message is alluringly emphasized on ‘4FriendsInARoomWithAgun.’ Led by Stewart, the alt-rock EP intriguingly blends the group’s tender sentiments with its signature intense instrumentation.

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By Karen Benardello

As a graduate of LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic, Karen Benardello serves as ShockYa's Senior Movies & Television Editor. Her duties include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, and scribing movie, television and music reviews and news articles. As a New York City-area based journalist, she's a member of the guilds, New York Film Critics Online and the Women Film Critics Circle.

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