Sunday, January 5, 2014

Atlas Genius When It Was Now Warner Bros. 2013



Atlas Genius is poised to put the Australian music scene back on the global stage.
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
 
The improvisational music scene in Australia is a delightfully mixed bag of artistic creativity and harmonic invention, the rock scene not so much. Midnight Oil, INXS, and Men at Work all struck the melodic mother load back in the day when MTV still played music videos and radio formats were expanding at an incredibly rapid pace to keep up with the influx of new talent. While talented bands have continued to dot the landscape across the land down under, none have reached the same level of success that the previously mentioned bands were having over twenty five years ago.
 
Enter Atlas Genius
 
Their first full release is aptly titled When It Was Now and encompasses what could be referred to as the Aussie sound of a hybrid Midnight Oil / INXS sound with the contemporary polish of a U2. Artistic comparisons are not always fair but occasionally serve as a necessary point of reference. Tight harmonies, a righteous rhythm section and an infectious yet often indescribable energy have Atlas Genius turning heads and listeners nodding their approval. The hit is "Trojans" yet the complete release is one of those rare consistently solid debut efforts that will allow this up and coming band to remain as one of the more influential "indie" rock bands of the previous year. Through the highly skilled use of the internet and satellite radio, Atlas Genius is making the social platforms available work for them while other bands are languishing in relative obscurity.
 
There is a deceptively subtle sophistication that runs through When It Was Now without ever tripping that pretentious self indulgent land mine similar bands seem determined to find. An occasional wistful melancholy is broken with a edgy musicality that much like the well written resume the end result is that longing for just a little more information. An incredibly engaging new band that will hopefully serve as a roadmap for others to follow. Nothing to grind on here.
 
 
Tracks: Trojans; If So; Symptoms; Electric; Back Seat; When It Was Now; On A Day