Atlas Losing Grip

State Of Unrest

Written by: PP on 10/06/2011 05:42:57

Had the internet age started a decade earlier than it did, the vast majority of you would today be familiar with Satanic Surfers, a Swedish skate punk / melodic hardcore band that only ever got the recognition they deserved in underground fan zines around Europe. They are long and gone, though, and only exist as a reference in melodic hardcore reviews today such as this one. The band's vocalist, Rodrigo Alfaro, has since moved onto a new project called Atlas Losing Grip, a melodic hardcore from Lund, Sweden, that many are calling the country's best hope in reinstating its status as a punk rock powerhouse generator from the 90s.

"State Of Unrest" is the second album by the Swedish bunch, and they sound pretty much identical to Rise Against. Except where the fire inside Rise Against died a couple of albums ago as a result of mainstream success, Atlas Losing Grip still sound every bit as passionate for their political cause as their idols did on and prior to "The Sufferer And The Witness". Rodrigo's soaring clean vocal melodies lead the way as the band's sweeping choruses resonate cleanly but with subdued aggression, thanks to solid mastering by Jason Livermore who has worked on similar records in the past, among others those by Rise Against and Propagandhi. The latter of which, by the way, has been the other obvious inspiration for this record, given its occasional technical edge and tightly played riffs. You might also be tempted to draw parallels to recent albums by Antillectual, Wiseheimer and why not also Authority Zero, but then again, the Rise Against territory is starting to be a rather crowded field so that isn't exactly surprising. But while the record suffers ever so slightly from sounding like the mathematical product of its influences, it still reigns superior to recent Rise Against output if for no other reason than its believability. Without the big money production and focus on arena-sized songwriting, the songs have more urgency and, in a way, feel more realistic, as if the band is still connected to and believe fully what they are singing about. The same can't be said about songs like "Help Is On The Way", even if it's a good cut otherwise.

So basically what you should expect from "State Of Unrest" is fiery melodic hardcore from the Rise Against school of thought with a throwback to the technical and intellectual punk scene every now and then. The songs are impressive, but rarely amazing or genre-defining, but that's just because we've heard the same style repeated on so many good albums in the last couple of years. If you're think Tim & co have gone soft on us, Atlas Losing Grip is a good alternative for a clean, well-produced, accessible melodic hardcore sound.


Download: Unrest, Numb, Closer To The End, Different Hearts Different Minds
For the fans of: Rise Against, Antillectual, Authority Zero, Propagandhi
Listen: Myspace

Release date 28.05.2011
Black Star Foundation

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