Klef Notes

Music Reviews

Rory Gillanders - "Tomorrow Means Nothin'"

There has never been a more sensitive sentence fragment as “Tomorrow means nothin’.” I mean, think of it!  Tomorrow means nothin’, if . . . . 

You do not have someone to share love.

You do not appreciate yesterday.

You do not understand today.

You give it all away. 

Literally and honestly, the list of dependent clauses can go on and on.  This displays the work of a sculpted writer – one who has the chops to execute a fully developed piece of music that is framed by such a title that makes you want to ponder on the new and old, as well as wonder what else this artist has to say. 

Living in London for the past six years, Dublin born Rory Gillanders has been carving his own path in the Indie Rock realm playing gigs, lighting up open mic nights, and receiving airplay on radio stations in Ireland and the U.K including Radio Nova and 2xm.  Recently, he decided to drop “Tomorrow Means Nothin’” an excellent EP that packs a big punch in a tiny package of four tracks. 

This is a review of “Tomorrow Means Nothin’” – a four track Alternative Indie Rock EP that is nothing short of brilliant with its strong rotating theme of living life to its fullest potential. 

The EP opens with“Morning Sun” a guitar infused Rock track that audibly evokes the feeling of a live concert.  There is no way you can miss the guitar orgy in this song – every open space is filled with beautiful six strings in all of their glory.  It’s time for a change, a new day, to make things alright the lyrical message expresses.  Gillanders sings “ain’t got much time left, so what you’re waiting for; I lost the battle, but I’ll win the war, I’m just waiting for the morning sun to lighten up the sky, I’m just waiting on the morning sun to rise.”  The musical build-up in this song gives off an atmospheric feeling and the bridge has the best musical changes – it is almost evanescent like air passing through your fingers – you want to catch it – a great production effect.  This song is bright, in your face, Rock.  

The title track soon follows and mellows out the collection with an acoustic guitar simply strumming a greeting to the listening audience’s ears.  Then, Gillanders’ well-lit vocals hover over the track with his tenor alluding to living with no regrets and making yesterday the best it can be, to make tomorrow better.  He sings “time won’t wait / time won’t wait / time won’t wait for me / cause all the thoughts in my head left me for dead, and all the words that I spoke, wish I had never said, and all the dreams that we had have faded away / tomorrow means nothin’ without yesterday.”  The classic rhyme scheme entwined in this cut shows skill, and the way he pronounces his words expresses his emotions in real-time.  “Tomorrow Means Nothin’” is a great example of an honest track that did not skimp on heart or reality. 

There is no better sound than an amp getting ready to blow your mind - “Bullets” is just that type of song.  A Modern Rock track that easily became my song crush.  I just enjoyed the execution of this song from start to finish and the way the artist references how in life there is a yin and yang to everything.  For instance, the moon doesn’t mean a thing without the sun, right?  Gillanders lyrically displays this point when he sings “playing with fire/ two of a kind / won’t  somebody help me, because I’m losing control / this rain on my face / this fire in my soul / it ain’t over yet / cause you got the bullets, and I got the gun.”  It is like the Kamikaze of songs – the modern instrumentation, the effects, and the final mix of this cut is ah-mazing.  The music drop at the 3 minutes 2 second mark just takes this track up a whole other notch – the plane takes flight – start low and then just fly man. 

Channeling a hybrid-mix of Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan, the final track entitled “Be My God” is a smooth, conversational ballad.  The addition of the banjo and the harmonica played by Gillanders makes this cut such easy listening.  Playing like a love letter from a man to a woman, this track tells the story of real-world love – the best kind of love in life.  The singer's emotions is laced all throughout this calming track, he sings “call my name and I’ll come running to the wrong side of the tracks / you can make it better, get my feet on solid ground / all I ever wanted was for you to be my god / take me away from here / now my heart don’t beat no fear.”  The use of strong words and word images completes the story of Blue Collar love and has resulted in a wonderful modern Roots Rock tune. 

With the addition of multi-instrumentalist Sam Thomas’ production, playing bass and piano, mixed with Gillanders song writing, vocals, harmonica, guitar, and banjo, “Tomorrow Means Nothin’” is hands down a Dylan-Springsteen-worthy refined piece of modern Rock music.  

Gillanders’ influences, according to himself, are Noel Gallagher, Bob Dylan, and Springsteen – so fitting, don’t you think?  His vocalizations make this EP so personal; it is as if you are in a music hub just listening to him play and sing his experiences and you can match your experiences to his tracks.  

An artist who wears his heart on his sleeve, he has that casual lyric practicality that made Dishwalla, the Wallflowers’ Jakob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen so popular – music for yesterday, today, and tomorrow, if you will, music that has the panache to be listened to and loved by people in all walks of society from the white collars to the blue collars.  Not too cerebrally composed, but more off the cuff of the heart and soul methodology used to execute his muse. 

The Dublin-Londonian musician, singer/songwriter dropped the typical “g” at the end of the word “nothing” in his title to personally show the attitude behind such a fragment within in the human condition.  When you say the word “nothing” with the “g,” it sounds academic, structured, rehearsed; but when you say the word “nothin’” dropping the “g,” it sounds practical, real, and the emphasis falls on the root to express the importance of not getting hung up on the small stuff – living your truth today. 

Truly, “Tomorrow Means Nothin’” is set for commercial success using the formula that was/is used by Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, one where the entire composition (the title, the lyric, the vocal execution, and the music) pulls at your curiosity with a title that makes you think about today, tomorrow, 2017, and 2018. 

In the words of Bob Dylan, “Yesterday's just a memory, tomorrow is never what it's supposed to be” (taken from “Don't Fall Apart on Me Tonight,” 1983).  And we can end that by saying, “Tomorrow Means Nothin’” without real music to write its soundtrack.  

We definitely have REAL good music here.  Gillanders is trailing very close behind Dylan and Springsteen adding to the decades and eras of conversational music and great songwriting.  I think this four-track EP is just a piece of a larger narrative that I anxiously wait to hear. 

To hear more from Rory Gillanders, go to https://soundcloud.com/user-256448011.  And even though Gillanders just played the Luna Lounge in Leytonstone on Wednesday 1/10th, you haven’t missed your chance to see him play live as Rory will be playing at The New Rose in Islington at 7:30 Sunday 01/14th and at Gladstone Arms in Borough on February 4th so swing pass to check him out.  With more dates to follow, keep up with the artist on his Twitter page @Rory_Gillanders.


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