Lower Than Atlantis

Changing Tune

Written by: TL on 05/11/2012 20:31:42

It's not a coincidence that we have chosen British alt-rock quartet Lower Than Atlantis' upcoming show at Beta, Copenhagen as our next All Killer, No Filler evening. Despite questions arising from existing fans when the band went for a remarkable change of sound between debut LP "Far Q" and sophomore "World Record", what the latter achieved was no small feat. With an absolute minimum of gimmicks, Lower Than Atlantis delivered a salvo of simple, straight-forward songs that had both the energy and the melody to get listeners hooked from end to end and so deservedly, the band has been picking up momentum in their home country ever since.

Reading about their third album "Changing Tune" before its release of a month ago then, one could again read - and be a little worried - that the band planned to evolve again, proposing like many before them to go bigger and better. Rest assured however, that despite what the album's title might suggest, the only real way in which "Changing Tune" is 'bigger and better' than "World Record" is if you get the deluxe edition like I did, which is flat out longer at 17 tracks to its predecessor's 12. Other than that, Lower Than Atlantis prove to being very much up to the same tricks that made people pay attention to them on their last record.

Short, direct and mostly fast-paced songs it is then, with a modern reinterpretation of the attitudes and roughness from 90s grunge rock idols like Nirvana and Foo Fighters, and to begin with this is as effective as usual, not least of all because there just are not a lot of bands that do anything similar to it these days. Yet as it soon turns out, the if it ain't broken approach has not worked exclusively in LTA's favour this time around, because "Changing Tune"'s songs are simply and noticeably less consistent across their length than "World Record" was.

Before you get all worried, this does not mean it is a dull record. Oh no. Singles "If The World Was To End" (which is only on the deluxe edition) and "Love Someone Else" are well worth checking it out for, with especially the former boasting one of the best melodies frontman Mike Duce has ever sung. Ballad "Scared Of The Dark" might be a little better than its "World Record" counterpart "Another Sad Song", and contrasting tracks such as the juicy, muscular "PMA" and the mockingly poppy "Counting Sheep" (again, on from the deluxe edition) also leave lasting impressions. Or how about the rolling "Cool Kids", which makes light of the band's own inspirations as Duce sings "We're listening to 90's bands.. If the singer's not dead it's no good".

It's not a matter of there not being good moments littered generously all over "Changing Tune". It's more the fact that by sounding so much like they did on "World Record", LTA have made two records that it is very hard to not compare, and in this comparison "Changing Tune" just does not come together as an avalanche of good parts the way it's older sibling did. Here you'll be sitting around for stretches, waiting for a song or a verse that really shows off why LTA are considered as good as they are, while on "World Record" their quality just oozed irresistible from almost every verse and chorus. So under a microscope maybe less would've been more when making "Changing Tune", and for this reason, LTA don't quite stay at very front of the British alt-rock movement - Yet while I think you'll likely return to "World Record" more often in the future, you should still think twice about missing this release, because when LTA get it right, they do get it so right that you could listen to a whole lot worse.

Download: If The World Was To End, Love Someone Else, Scared Of The Dark, PMA, Cool Kids
For The Fans Of: Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro, Blitz Kids
Listen: facebook.com/lowerthanatlantis

Release Date 01.10.2012
Island Records

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