Review: Safe In Sound

Lower Than Atlantis are a British four-piece rock band who are celebrating ten years since their formation this year.  It seems fitting, then, that Friday marked the release of their fifth studio album whilst still riding the wave of success following their self-titled fourth record.  Hype for Safe In Sound began back in August of last year with the release of  Work For It, and excitement built steadily until the album dropped this week.

Jumping straight into the review, it’s obvious from the first track that more effort has gone into post-production on Safe In Sound than on the band’s previous records. A number of tracks feature either autotuned or artificial echoed lead or backing vocals, or programmed drums or clap sound effects.  Plus, Boomerang is probably the most heavily produced track in Lower Than Atlantis’s discography. Overall I think these added electronic elements have paid off: they certainly help each individual track to stand out from the rest of the record, and the end result is an extremely polished album with few rough edges.

However, the band’s ability to write catchy choruses and creative riffs layered with guitar solos has not been compromised.  Drummer Eddy Thrower has taken his playing to the next level, with a number of inventive drum fills peppering the record.  Another thing that hasn’t changed over time is lead vocalist Mike Duce’s signature velvet-smooth voice.  Lyrically the record still discusses similar themes to previous records, which shows that even though their sound might have changed slightly, Lower Than Atlantis are still, at their core, doing what they do best.

My Safe In Sound highlight is by far Work For It.  It’s probably the heaviest track on the album, and it’s whoa-ohing chorus is perfect for crowds at gigs and festivals to shout back at the band.  I also love the lyrics to Could Be Worse, which discuss every day stresses and struggles that everyone listening can relate to.

The last few tracks of the record seem to lose their way a little bit.  I Would and Money are tracks chock full of lyrical cliches, and to me it feels like there wasn’t a massive amount of thought or effort put into the songwriting.  I Don’t Want To Be Here Anymore is a pretty downbeat track, which seems out of place on the record.  Thankfully, Safe In Sound ends on the high note of A Night To Forget, a great party track with an uplifting chorus.

Overall this record is hit and miss, and although the hits do outnumber the misses, I had higher expectations for Lower Than Atlantis’s fifth record.  I think the band struggled to find the right balance between their rock/hardcore roots and pop influences, and because of that the record was slightly confused.  Safe In Sound was overall enjoyable, but I hope that their next record has a more cohesive sound.

Highlights: Long Time Coming, Work For It, A Night To Forget

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