October 2012 and Watford's Lower Than Atlantis are a very different proposition to the days before the release of their first EP three days before Christmas 2008. The four years that have passed has seen the band develop far beyond their post-hardcore beginnings. Changing Tune is the product of their development, a step away from their previous efforts and a foray into new territory.
Uplifting and soaring, the album's three-minute prologue track sounds huge; starting with an acoustic guitar passage before exploding into possibly the best song the Foo Fighters have never written. First track proper Love Someone Else, released as a single this summer, typifies the album. Catchy and pop driven, this is the first of many small-time tales geared for the biggest of stages.
The riff to Move Along is cheekily reminiscent of Bowling For Soup's mega-hit 1985, before it settles into a familiar pattern. Dealing lyrically with the band's enviable rise to success and the views of those on the outside, this is not an album of 'me against the world' sentiments; instead, a tongue in cheek commentary on the life of front man Mike Duce and the rest of the band. In contrast, the musical interlude in Go on Strike is excellent - two guitars trading parts effortlessly before segueing comfortably back into another chorus.
Duce is Lower Than Atlantis' star, his talent is plain to see and his penchant for mischief both on and off stage has ensured he has never been far from the headlines. Changing Tune serves as an excellent showcase for his vocal abilities, as typified by ballad Scared of the Dark; a heartfelt track that opens the door for a duet with the immensely talented Madeleine Poncia. The album finishes strongly, with single Normally Strange pairing fuzzy guitar parts with a typically catchy Duce-led chorus while PMA offers a darker side to Changing Tune, the riffs alluding to something altogether deeper than seen on much of the record.
With Changing Tune, Lower than Atlantis are now a very different proposition to the band who recorded Far Q. This album's arena rock approach has progressed further from last year's World Record. There are moments with tastes of the band's Hardcore influences but where once they would shape an album, in Changing Tune these are few and far between. This is clearly an album written by a band who are ready to take a significant step up into the mainstream consciousness, troubling both arenas and larger festival stages. This autumn saw them tour a selection of the UK's more intimate venues and with recent reports confirming them as the main supports for All Time Low's jaunt around the country early in 2013, the only way is surely up.