Lower Than Atlantis took a chance on a major label back in 2012 with their appropriately titled Changing Tune in the hopes of taking off into the mainstream. Unfortunately this was not to be the case, and the band quickly discovered the brutality of major labels, finding themselves without a manager or record label. Although this was obviously a big hit to take for the Watford band, it was possibly one of the best things that could of happened to them. Instead of backing down, curling up in a corner and feeling sorry for themselves, they have returned to stand up and be counted.
Lower Than Atlantis bypassed the usual routes of recording by building their own studio, giving them the freedom to write what they wanted, when they wanted, and how they wanted. Total creative freedom, a bold step forward, but it has definitely payed off! The self-titled album released on 6th October is a testimony to the band’s versatility and passion. Compared to previous LTA albums, Lower Than Atlantis displays a far broader spectrum of styles and genres, largely down to the freedom the band experienced during their recording and writing process. With this release, we don’t just have a 12 track post-hardcore punk album, with driven guitars pushing all tracks in a similar fashion. No, there are folk inspired acoustic phrases, more pop traced guitar riffs, as well as some of the catchiest choruses I’ve heard in ages. Seriously, I’ve had Emily stuck in my head for days, it won’t leave!
In all honesty, before the release of this self-titled album, I had not paid LTA a great deal of attention. Yes I caught the occasional song, but didn’t really listen intently to the previous albums. This is chiefly due to the genre and sound they often fell into, especially Changing Tune. In my head it’s the music of my teenage self, something that I slowly grew out of. However, this is different. There is enough variance and experimentation on this release to prick my ears. The band have clearly used the time to explore their own sound, making this album an interesting listen, with no chance for boredom to set in. Again, LTA aren’t particularly to my personal taste, but I greatly appreciate the expression exhibited in this album, and frankly I like it!
The album as a collective is overall very solid and smooth. Stand out tracks such as Emily and Here We Go really boost the centre of the album, filling it out nicely with a mixture of glue like riffs and the well known powerful drive of the LTA sound of Far Q. These more upbeat offerings are then brilliantly contrasted with softer tracks like Words Don’t Come So Easily, which employes a beautifully simple acoustic piece, leading into a catchy chorus which seems to have become LTA’s speciality these days. The album therefore offers a range of tempos, emotions and moods, giving far more to the listener than any other LTA album that has preceded it.
Lower Than Atlantis has turned me. With admiration for the way they bravely produced this album, along with the pleasant array of styles incorporated, this self-titled album has shown a truer image of this band, one that I far prefer to the slightly obscured version we have seen in the past. Hopefully the fans of LTA will receive the change in this album with the same respect, as for a band to constantly push forward to avoid repetition is surely a major plus point. If that is the case, I predict that this album will go down very well, and turn the heads of a lot of people. This appears to be the start of a new era for Lower Than Atlantis, and what a start it is.