Beyond The Neighbourhood
Scorn with being known as a poor man’s Coldpay and not really accepted as an Indie Band it is safe to say that Athlete have been unfairly treated in the passed. Yet it was in the passed that they have produced their best stuff. In reality they are not all about massive guitar riffs and hammering out tunes. Athlete began life as a mellowed out band but had the tracks to back it up with El Salvador and You Got The Style.
After the release of their debut album Vehicles And Animals, Athlete showcased that just because you have a different style it doesn’t make it wrong. At times people are always afraid of something that is different. The people out their that came out of that comfort zone and gave this four a chance were no doubt pleasantly surprised with the first album. Maybe not as blown away with the second but still not bad!
Now it is album number three Beyond The Neighbourhood, which incidentally was recorded in their own studio. Hey get these guys from struggling for room when recording the first record to having your own studio. Can Athlete rekindle the magic from the first album and not hit average mediocrity as they unfortunately did with Tourist? (The second record)
The album kicks off with In Between 2 States, which is basically some bizarre instrumental, electronic jam that leaves you pondering on which way is this album going to go. Once the madness is over it is straight onto Hurricane (The Single) that really after listening to the album a couple of times is the obvious choice. In all reality this the most up beat track on the album and (dare it be said?) the most radio friendly track on it.
Tokyo leads into life and it seems that the mellowed chaps from Deptford have stood on a nail and started playing their instruments in anger. Drumbeats, guitar riffs and Joel’s vocals do not at all seem out of place, what a pleasant surprise to listen to something like this from Athlete. It does seem that at this point Beyond The Neighbourhood is, erm well a bit of an experimental album.
Musically Athlete have turned the corner and gone for something a bit different which is evident in tracks such as It’s Not Your Fault. Although there is that upbeat feel to the track with the music, Athlete has still maintained the same style in the shape of the lyrics. On the flip side though there is a dark side to these guys in the shape of The Outsiders and most definitely in the shape of Flying Over The Bus Stop.
Athlete have taken the leap of faith and have let the comfort blanket go and try something different. It takes a lot of guts to do that. It is far easier to carry on churning out the same genre of stuff, but lets face it what is the point. What is more is the mixture in this album with some really good upbeat giving it some tracks alongside some real soul searching tracks.
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