Opening track Had Enough establishes Lower Than Atlantis‘ dominance over their even-more-polished sound with the giant chorus with riffs absolutely destined to be hitting the walls of arenas across the country. The outro holds building vocals to blast out the end with power. Then comes second single Dumb which again has the arena rock sound. Mike Duce’s vocals are layered thickly throughout and the bass creates a real groove from start to finish for the track.
The first unexpected track on the album is Boomerang, which opens with a giant harmony on top of a synthesiser sound to create a very hooky feel. The pad drum beat through the song lets the pop style continue, while a descending heavily-edited vocal sample is played regularly on a keyboard to fill space in the choruses. This is then directly contrasted by the thumping instrumental riff at the beginning of first single Work For It. The following few minutes are filled with pop hooks in the vocals and punching drums that underpin the fuzzy riffs on the guitars and bass.
The standout track has to be the slow song I Don’t Want To Be Here Anymore which talks about depression to the point of being suicidal. The track contains frontman Mike Duce apologising to his mum for feeling how he feels, with the lines “And if all you need to know is that I’m fine / Maybe I’ll lie to save some time” showing the true nature of how supressed depression so often is. “This feeling won’t leave me” rings out at the start of the chorus and what ensues is absolutely heartbreaking truth that will seem far too relatable for far too many people. The track builds with guitars, bass, drums and a colossal string part to a final chorus that is set to have lighters flaring and tears flowing at tour dates in future.
A notable mention has to go to I Would , with its quickly-moving beat and lyrics to show absolute dedication to someone. The intro riffs playing power chords in 16ths gives good backing to the opening vocal verse, and the solo going into the second verse just oozes style. The chorus saying Duce would “swallow broken glass” and “kill a man” to get close to someone may sound a bit nuts, but in a strange way it sounds extremely endearing within the song.
Overall, some fantastic songs that make the album solid effort despite some filler material. The more polished sound suits the band well, though they seem to be halfway to the desired sound from the immaculate self-titled in 2014 and hopefully they will hit that sound on the next album. Credit where it’s due though – the album looks set to become Lower Than Atlantis‘ first top 10 album in their ten years of existing so congratulations to them!