Rather than tentatively step out of the shadows, Australian pop-rock group Atlas Genius has come into the light at a full-blown sprint. This rush is thanks in large part to blogger word-of-mouth and opening spots for staple alternative rock acts such as Silversun Pickups and Imagine Dragons in their respective tours. The band’s debut album, “When It Was Now,” displays Atlas Genius’ seemingly natural ability to craft catchy, upbeat jams.
The group draws from a powerful arsenal chock-full of peppy guitar lines, a slick synthesizer finish reminiscent of The Killers’ early material and a formidable appreciation for tambourine accentuations. The result is a powerful combination of dance-inducing songs strewn throughout the album.
“Trojans” is the band’s first single and the main culprit behind the group’s explosive career launch. The track begins simply enough with toned-down rhythmic patterns and easy electric guitar strumming. As it progresses, various instrumentation is thrown in: an acoustic guitar here, a synth lick there. It’s a formula designed to keep the listener invested and hooked.
While consistency is an admirable quality in many releases, it should not come at the expense of diversified creativity. Most of the LP’s songs run together with the same pop-indie-dance vibe. As the same one-size-fits-all framework springs up in each of the album’s 11 tracks, listeners may find themselves hoping for something a little more surprising.
While Atlas Genius does stumble as far as pushing their own boundaries, they have created an enjoyable record with a fresh spin on modern rock. Overall, the album’s sunny disposition and carefree attitude establishes itself as an early candidate for a soundtrack to the summer.
2 ½ stars