ALBUM REVIEW: Lower Than Atlantis – Safe In Sound

Photo Credit: Jordan Green

Now onto their fifth album, Lower Than Atlantis aren’t sticking to what they know and if we’re being honest the last four efforts from the quartet have either been huge hits or miserable misses. We had a taste of the band’s latest release Safe In Sound with the handful of singles that they released in the run up, but would the follow-up to their 2014 self-titled blow us away or leave much to be desired?

Firstly let’s discuss the tracks that have been released as singles, as we’ve had more time to develop out opinions. When the album was announced Work For It was the lead track, and out of the four singles this one shines the brightest. Lyrically the track sums how the quartet have reached ten years and their fifth album by working for it, as “hard work pays off”. This first taster set the scene for a big bold, arena edged album whilst second single Dumb swayed the release in a different direction. Mike Duce has the gift of versatile vocals and during this track, you feel as if you’re being spoken down to and told off for trying to lie. LTA aren’t dumb, by flaunting a variety of tempos giving different guitars, drums and vocals their starring role. Had Enough, which acts as the album opener, is exactly what we associate LTA: angsty vocals about not wanting to take shit from anyone; top tapping drumlines; and chuggy guitar riffs. The production is impressive, flowing smoothly making this a solid radio friendly effort. Boomerang, however, sees the single set losing a bit of sparkle, lacking in power with the opening lyric “the tree remembers what the axe forgets”, you’ll remember it for all the wrong reasons. Just skip this and pretend it didn’t happen.

We’ll be honest, when we first heard Safe in Sound it didn’t immediately capture our attention; it took a couple of listens. Long Time Coming features one of the best transitions from verse to chorus that we’ve heard in a very long time, giving the chorus an extra fire and ensuring you’ll be singing along. Unafraid to create relatable lyrics, the track looks back on their pastand how it’s led them to where they are today: “I’ve been waiting for good things to come my way. I heard the good things come to those who wait and lately, I’ve been waiting patiently” reiterates that hard work will pay off. Could Be Worse has a weird country guitar introduction, with a prominent drum line; there’s a poetic, reflective lyrical focus here. If Duce’s tones weren’t so unique you may mistake them for another band, as it’s a little bit too upbeat and motivational. Where are the angry tracks we remember the quartet for? This being said this track could be way worse, and you’ll be singing along especially on a bad day thinking: “Yeah okay, it’s not great but I’m going to look for the positives here!”

I Would is the closest to a love song we’re going to get from Lower Than Atlantis, and it’s a pop-punk bop which we absolutely love. We’re pretty certain that after a few drinks you’ll be serenading that person you’ve got your eye on as, with lyrics “I’d kill a man just to hold your hand/I’d die alone just to walk you home” – this is 21st Century love. Guitars here are superbly executed allowing the listener to lose themselves within the nimble riffs whilst processing the tongue in cheek lyrics. Money, that thing we love to have, struggle to save has s boppy, pop undertone. This may not be the strongest track on the record, but “can’t buy happiness but it buys the rest/how can I live for heaven’s sake when all that I make someone else takes?” saves this for the relatability. With a title of I Don’t Want To Be Here Anymore we’re more than prepared for this to be a tearjerker, with a delicate, slow introduction entwined with Duce’s heartfelt vocals; there’s a real vulnerability to his tone which he’s touched on before in 2011’s Another Sad Song. Lines such as “I’ve been lost in life and I can’t find a warm place to call home//I wish I was never born and I don’t wanna be here anymore” are laced with strings and flawlessly laid out instrumentation; this is one that you’ll definitely be able to connect with.

Closing track A Night To Forget steals the show, the big bold arena sound makes you want to get up on your feet and shout along: it’s super catchy, features gang chants and the key advice of “you’ve gotta live before you’re dead” before concluding with a sharp, solid ending note which closes the album in style.

The adaptation and growth of Lower Than Atlantis since their fourth album is outstanding, successfuly upping their game in the ever-changing, competitive music scene. It’s important to note that Safe in Sound may not be what old LTA were expecting,  but it still features lyrics that’ll bring a grin to your face, pounding drum beats and the guitar riffs you fell in love with from day one.

Lower Than Atlantis head out on their biggest tour to date this month including a night at Brixton’s O2 Academy. With support coming from Young Guns, Hands Like Houses and ROAM this tour definitely isn’t one to be missing out on – we’ll be there, will you?


Standout Tracks: A Night To Forget, I Would, Work For It

For Fans Of: Young Guns, You Me At Six, Deaf Havana

Written By: Nicola Craig

Nicola Craig
Head of Live with an unwavering love for the seaside, live music and writing about others instead of myself. Twitter: @nicolalalalar