Lower Than Atlantis-Changing Tune
Lower Than Atlantis are a fine musical example of how admirable determination and extremely hard work truly does pay off sometimes. Changing Tune is their third album in as many years and not only does it manage to somehow top the huge quality of its predecessors but, on the eve of its release, finds the Watford quartet as one of the fastest-rising rock bands in Britain with their name literally all over the place. Their third album then feels like the realisation of something big and sounds like a triumph as a result. A belting album that's full of consistently brilliant songs, frontman Mike Duce displaying his songwriting brilliance firmly on the table throughout.
Beginning like a genuine epic with the unravelling and gargantuan Prologue, Duce sings tantalisingly of how he's "feeling estranged from [himself] today, more than usual anyway" accompanied by just his acoustic guitar. It's a calm before an almighty storm though as the full band comes in with backing gang-vocals so monstrous they could be skyscrapers and a huge whirlwind of noise pulls the listener straight through the speakers right into the album's guts before everything fades back out again and esoteric yet euphoric noises fill the soundscape, Duce's acoustic once again playing alone. It's an opening that shows the band have gone above and beyond on this album to show what they're made of in full effervescent detail.
With the opener leading us slowly into his thoughts, Duce's lyrics certainly begin to metamorphose into something different in tune on this record but only very subtly, with the frustrating troubles in life that he deals in so well getting a slight optimistic twist on top of the sad despair of old, weaving an interesting web of songs both light and dark. Massive lead single Love Someone Else finds Duce telling doubters to "hate [him] for being [him] and love someone else", in Move Along he muses on how the band have been going for "four years now and picking up pace" while perhaps most brilliantly the frontman turns the idea of suffering from complete writer's block into one of the best songs on the album in the unbeatable Wars With Words. Something Better Came Along's depiction of a relationship breaking crushingly down around Duce is the more hopeful flip-side to second album World Record's disappointment-fuelled Bug while anthem-in-waiting PMA is the pinnacle of all of these thoughts. The pure rage of early tracks like Far Q and I'm Not Bulimic, I Just Wanted To See How Far I Could Stick My Fingers Down My Throat is by no means forgotten though with the spitting anger of I Know A Song That Will Get On Your Nerves and dripping sarcasm of Cool Kids keeping it nicely intact. The same can be said for the undeniable sadness and introspection of World Record too with the beautiful mid-point ballad Scared Of The Dark allowing us the key deep into Duce's mind once more.
The musicianship on the album is utterly brilliant as well, Duce and guitarist Ben Samson's guitar-interplay is flawless, sometimes hammering and sometimes soothing, while Eddy Thrower's drum work ranks amongst the best that the country is currently offering, his eclectic performance both always noticeable and enthralling and offering something new on every song and listen, bassist Dec Hart's thunderous bass locking in perfectly. It's a band becoming flawlessly tight as a unit and allowing a brilliant collection of songs to reach their full potential.
This is an absolutely storming release from a band who just keep getting better and are showing no signs of stopping, if this doesn't make them a seriously big deal there's no justice.