By Tara Schoenborn
Indie rockers Atlas Genius’ first full-length album doesn’t back up the band’s head-turning EP.
Atlas Genius, an Aussie band that showed so much promise when it released the hit single “Trojans” last year, disappointed just about everyone with the Feb. 19 release of its full-length album, When It Was Now. In June 2012, the band released its catchy EP Through the Looking Glass, which achieved international success due to its upbeat guitar, dance party vibes, and indie pop, yet somewhat electric and synthesized sound. Through just a few tracks, the band demonstrated not only that it could create hit songs, but also that it could produce songs with depth and acoustic flair, like “Symptoms.” With this success and demonstration of talent, the band’s fans were left dying to hear more.
However, when the long wait for the full album was over, few were satisfied. About half the songs on the album sound washed-up, generic, and unmemorable. And of the ones that are memorable, four of them were already released to the public. The only stand-out songs from When It Was Now are the infectious and energetic “Electric,,” the impossible-to-keep-out-of-your-head “If So,” and the touching and meaningful “Through the Glass.”
Lyrics are the one thing Atlas Genius does have going for it in this album because they’re real and relatable. However, the band doesn’t back them up; there’s not enough edge or pizzazz. The result is an album sounding like a futile attempt at a bunch of synth/wave 80s songs.
Sadly, this seems to be a common theme in today’s music industry. Promising indie bands drop an awesome EP and leave the world itching to hear more, and then produce only a mediocre album. So many bands are trying to conform to the new wave, EDM obsession and end up either lack originality or simply not having the musical ability to cut it. Hopefully Atlas Genius will realize that to be successful, playing it safe is not the way to go. Instead: Be dangerous; get crazy. Try something new.