Lower Than Atlantis – Changing Tune (2012)

Lower Than Atlantis first burst onto the scene with the release of their Bretton EP about a year after they had formed. Bretton had a very hardcore/southern metalcore feel to it, but ever since then, Lower Than Atlantis’ music has been much more welcoming to the mainstream crowd. This is by no means a bad thing, though. While the four-piece band from Hertfordshire, UK has changed their style a lot, they have still managed to keep the majority of their fans. Their third full-length album, Changing Tune, is set to release on October 1st via Island Records and it is definitely the band’s most welcoming release.

The album opens with a few seconds of silence followed by an extremely long volume swell on the track titled “Prologue”. The listener is then greeted by an acoustic guitar and the captivating vocals of Mike Duce. “Prologue” is one of the weaker tracks on Changing Tune, but it’s a solid way to kick off the album. The following track is also fairly solid and it’s not until the third track entitled “Move Along” that Changing Tune really takes off. The vocals become even catchier and the instrumentals much stronger and it remains that way for the majority of the album.

Changing Tune slows down a bit near the midway point of the album on the acoustic track, “Scared Of The Dark”. In addition to Mike’s spectacular vocals, there is a female guest vocalist on “Scared Of The Dark”. This track is a perfect way to let the listener catch their breath while still being able to enjoy a very catchy tune. It also gives the listener a chance to brace for the heaviest and must grunge track, “Normally Strange”.

A couple of tracks after “Normally Strange”, the album reaches its highest point. The final four tracks are all very strong, especially “Cool Kids” and “I Know A Song That Will Get On Your Nerves”.  The lyric of “We’re all confused and misunderstood” heard on “Cool Kids” is an extremely relatable lyric for almost every teenager and a very catchy part of the song as well. “I Know A Song That Will Get On Your Nerves” is my personal favourite because the riffs are great, the drumming is much more upbeat on this track than it is on most of the album, and the vocals are the expected combination of catchy and strong.

The one complaint that I have is that the drumming on Changing Tune is nothing to write home about. The drummer repeats the same pattern on most of the album and it becomes a little stale. There are moments where the drummer mixes it up – like on the aforementioned “I Know A Song That Will Get On Your Nerves” – but those moments are few and far between. Luckily for Lower Than Atlantis, everything else is impressive and makes the unsurprising kit aspect seem like a very minor flaw.

Changing Tune is a very fun listen at a perfect length of 37 minutes and I’m glad that I decided to indulge in it. On Lower Than Atlantis’ previous albums, I felt like the only thing that drew me in was the vocals. Changing Tune isn’t groundbreaking, but the guitar riffs and basslines coalesce very well each other, and despite the lackluster drumming, I can see this being an album that shoots the band into even more fame and popularity.


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By Steven Pongrac ~ Me Gusta Reviews