World Record, the second full length album from Hertfordshire based rockers Lower than Atlantis makes a bold statement. Lower Than Atlantis are back on the scene, and they intend to tear it up, in a big way. It's melodic, energetic, musical and full of potential, but is it any good?
On first listen, the straight answer is yes. It's very good. Lower than Atlantis clearly haven't been afraid of experimentation whilst they've been in the studio, it's a rollercoaster ride of tempo changes and dynamics changes, huge epic choruses and crunchy guitar sounds. These all combine to make World Record an enjoyable listen, if not a little bit confusing when it comes to placing it under a genre.
Before now Lower than Atlantis have been placed in the 'Melodic Hardcore' genre, but somehow this album doesn't really seem to fit that description. World Record has a melodic, poppy sound to it that reminds one of the similar sounds created by rockers Hundred Reasons, a style of music that was never explored fully, and Lower than Atlantis pull it off remarkably well. Echoing call and response vocals and big, hefty sing-along choruses make World Record an impressive album from Watford's musicians. The guitars' sounds do, in a way, border on Hardcore but have enough of a poppy sound to them, and not enough of a distorted, muddy sound for it to be classed as Hard Rock or Metal, but instead more Pop-Rock, again similar to Hundred Reasons or some material produced more recently from also-Hertfordshire-based rockers Proceed. In fact, it could even be argued that they're a British version of Billy Talent, and some parts even remind of Fightstar. It's too broad a spectrum to place anywhere completely specific, and this is a pleasant change from a lot of recent music. It says that Lower than Atlantis aren't too bothered about where they're classed, just that they're making music people enjoy listening to.
Overall though, it doesn't matter which genre one would place Lower than Atlantis, but whether it's good music that people would want to listen to. It's thoughtful music, but in a pleasant way it's music that one could put on in the background whilst doing something else. At the same time though, it's music that if properly listened to, carefully and thoughtfully, then the meticulously chosen lyrics and deeper aspects begin to emerge and the listener starts to appreciate how clever the music actually is. For example, "This relationship is leaving shore/anchors away!" is a clever line.
The only problem I would point out with the album is that it might get a bit 'same old' towards the end. There are definite changes in each song, it's not like they all sound exactly the same, but there's enough similarities in each song for the album to get tedious if listened to constantly. It's not enough of a problem to have an immediate solution, however, and so doesn't have much of an effect on how good the album is itself.
So, in the end, it's clever, thoughtful, post Hardcore Pop Rock. Very good lyrically, and musically, and it's very catchy all the way though the whole album. It crunches, drops and sings its heart out all the way through the journey that it takes the listener. Keep an eye on these guys, they're headed upwards, straight to the top.
As for this album, I'd give it a good 7.5 to 8 out of 10