Thursday, 14 May 2015

Atlas Losing Grip - Currents


Tracklist:

1. Sinking Ship
2. The Curse
3. Cynosure
4. Shallow
5. Nemesis
6. Closure
7. Kings And Fools
8. Cast Anchor
9. Unknown Waters
10. The End
11. Downwind
12. Through The Distance
13. Cold Dirt
14. Ithaka

Swedish punks Atlas Losing Grips have released a new record this year. Currents was released in January via Cargo Records/Creator-Destructor Records and since it's release, Atlas Losing Grip have played all over the UK and Europe. They've been going since 2005 and Currents is their third full-length. Calling them a punk is a bit misleading though, as they also draw influence from heavy metal. This fourteen-track album should show both sides of the band.

I certainly wasn’t expecting pogo-inducing pop-punk when I pressed play on Currents, but the dual-guitar intro to Sinking Ships is the biggest hint you’ll get about ALG’s musical palette. They draw from thrash, metal, progressive rock and of course punk to create a very characteristic sound and aren't afraid about spreading their songs out over several minutes at a time. The clean vocals that kick things off after the lengthy intro, remind me of the pipes of Zoli Teglas from Ignite/Pennywise, though here they are slightly over-produced for my liking (in a, dare I say it, power metal kind of way!). I think  I prefer ALG’s take on punk and The Curse is more like it for me, featuring more urgency and punch. The same can be said for Cynosure. The thrash/crossover pace and riffs make it really frantic, but it never runs away and the stays controlled, backing up the vocals well. I still can’t escape that sense of power metal though (maybe I’m missing the point). They can write a good emotive song though. Shallow is definitely one that’ll be belted out live. The more you get into Currents, the more you realise that it’s all about the metal. Nemesis features an intense intro, chock full of heavy metal guitar work. It leads into a high-voltage song that features loads of real hooks and a classy solo. Closure takes me back to the acoustic grandeur of “Nothing Else Matters’ era Metallica. It’s a great way to break up the frantic pace of Currents so far. Kings And Fools comes across a little bit goth-pop during the verses. as Niklas Olsson’s vocals are lower-pitched. I love the song though. It subtly restrained and very listenable. The old-school melodic hardcore sound I alluded to when the album’s opener started is back on Cast Anchor. It gives the second half of Current a good kick in the behind. The way Currents flows is quite striking. There’s no great gaps between songs and the momentum is strong throughout. The melodic power of Unknown Waters is another good aspect that makes this record stand out as well. It’s definitely a grower! They’re at their anthemic best on The End and Downwind,  which come around remarkably quickly. They use electronic effects on Through The Distance, as well as some clever drumming to add modern appeal. Penultimate number Cold Dirt a pretty majestic ballad, with piano for added effect. They leave mightiest prog-song till then end. The 11+ minutes of Ithaka. Even with that description and mention of prog, it still features everything that is great about Atlas Losing Grip. I wasn’t really sure about Currents when I pressed play, but as I listened to it, I realised that there’s a lot more to it than I’ve described in this review. It’s passionate, mature and thankfully on the right side of cheesy. You could do far worse than give this your time. 

I can't find a stream of Current online, which is a bit odd but there are some videos available via ALG'S website here - http://www.atlaslosinggrip.com and you can buy the record and other merch directly from the band here - http://hamburgrecords.com/atlaslosinggrip/

Atlas Losing Grip Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/atlaslosinggrip
Cargo Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/CargoRecords
Creator-Destructor Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Creator-Destructor-Records

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