Album Review Reviews

Review:: Lower Than Atlantis: Black Edition | Lower Than Atlantis

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UK rock band, Lower Than Atlantis, has re-released their 2014
self-titled album with a new deluxe edition. Titled Lower Than Atlantis:
Black Edition
, the deluxe album includes 15 bonus tracks with
fresh new songs, live sets, and four covers. The album is a spot-on portrayal
of the groups overall musical growth and versatility. The two discs showcase
the true evolution and experimentalism of the bands signature punk rock sound.
The raw, aggressive vocals from Mike Duce, guitar from Ben Sansome and Dec Hart, and percussion
elements from Eddy Thrower, are incorporated and manipulated in different ways that
haven’t been heard before on their previous albums.  

The first disc containing their 2014 album can be summed up as
controlled chaos – the good kind. Lower Than Atlantis has their sound down to
a science; it is a perfect balance of energetic, catchy vocals and heavy
electric guitar flare that weave together a recipe for a classic punk pop rock
vibe. The first track “Here We Go” shows their
mastery with the electric guitar in constant sync with Duce’s smooth,
meets angsty vocals providing just the right level of a commanding, yet
controlled sound.

The track “English Kids in America” tells the story of the bands
personal and professional journey as they packed up their lives in the UK to
pursue their musical dreams in the United States. This track embraces the theme
of the entire album which revolves around finding oneself and enjoying the ride
despite the challenges. Lower Than Atlantis naturally emits a strong sense of
nostalgia, lyrically. The band continually expresses the internal struggle of
wanting to hold on to one’s youth, reminding us all to live in the moment
making their overall message relatable, genuine and respectable.

The tracks “Criminal” and “Ain’t No Friend” highlight their pure
punk rock sound through Duce’s grungy vocals paired with the booming electric
guitar and drums. There is also a contrasting vulnerable side in the tracks:
“Words Don’t Come Easily” with a soft intro coming from the acoustic guitar
that crescendos to an unexpected punch of electric guitar and bass to remind us
of their signature rock roots. “Emily” is a similar,  lighthearted track with a nostalgic pop rock
vibe.

Lower Than Atlantis captures the aura of young rebellion so
effortlessly which isn’t a surprise considering the bands influence from
blink-182 that is reflective in the care-free tracks: “Stays The Same,” “Live
Slow Die Old” and “Time.”

Each track on the two discs are thoughtfully placed in order to
accurately tell their story. The last track on the first disc titled “Number
One,” belts out determined vocals with lyrics of hopes for the future. The
album concludes on an optimistic note as it leaves the past behind, ending with
the future at the fore-front of their minds that may be suggesting a potential
tone shift.

The second disc is a collection and representation of the bands
musical maturity as they incorporate more experimental sounds that veer to a
softer indie-rock influence with some jazz and soul sprinkled in for the hell
of it. However, the group still proves they haven’t abandoned their roots or
youth in the humorous tracks “Sewer Side” and “Superhero.”

The live lounge covers are one of the most unexpected and
exciting elements on the album. The influence of the live environment
highlights Duce’s true vocal talent. The track “Real Love” is a duet with a
female artist that is an impressive showcase of Duce’s raw vocal ability. His
voice is vulnerable and naked as it is complemented by the soulful saxophone.
Alternate versions of the popular tracks: “Here We Go” and “Ain’t No Friend” to
name a few, possess a fresh acoustic, almost reggae-inspired flare that highlights
the simplicity of the guitar and vocals.

The deluxe album Lower Than Atlantis: Black Edition is
a truly well composed documentation of the bands musical journey and overall
maturity. The thoughtful compilation and versatility of song decisions is
successful and will dub to be a timeless collection of pop punk rock music.

Release Date: November 20, 2015
Rating: 4/5

CD 1 
1. Here We Go
2. Ain’t No Friend of Mine
3. English Kids In America
4. Criminal
5. Words Don’t Come So Easily
6. Emily
7. Stays The Same
8. Live Slow, Die Old
9. Damn Nation
10. Time
11. Just What You Need
12. Number One   

CD 2 
1. Get Over It
2. The Reason
3. I’m Partying
4. Superhero
5. Sewer Side
6. Real Love (Live Lounge Performance)
7. Am I Wrong (Live Lounge Performance)
8. Strong
9. Wish You Were Here
10. Everybody Wants To Rule The World
11. A Thousand Miles
12. Here We Go (Alt Version)
13. English Kids In America (Alt Version)
14. Words Don’t Come So Easily (Alt Version)
15. Ain’t No Friend (Alt Version) 

Written by Kelsey Rzepecki

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