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The Ataris - Welcome The Night

The Ataris, Welcome The Night

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

IT’S been a while since The Ataris’ last album, 2003’s So Long Astoria and much has changed. Lead singer Kristopher Roe remains but a lot of the founding members are gone, while they’re also now on their own label.

The current line-up boasts John Collura, Paul Carabello, Angus Cooke, Bob Hoag, Sean Hansen and Shane Chickeles, as well as mainstay Roe. And the formula hasn’t overly been tampered with.

The Ataris are still very much about big power anthems with a big American alt-rock emphasis (they hail from Anderson, Indiana).

Yet as accomplished and slickly produced as the album is, there’s a been there, heard-it-all-before quality about most of proceedings. The album simply lacks any spark and is too prone to easy comparisons with the likes of Funeral For A Friend, Jimmy Eat World and other bands of that ilk.

Things open confidently enough with the powerful Not Capable Of Love but the rest of the album quickly falls into a predictable formula that finds Roe attempting to marry skyscraping, brooding vocals with anguished guitars, crashing drums and epic intensity.

Cardiff By The Sea is a lengthy listen that’s packed with crunching riffs, aching vocals and an overwhelming sense of its own importance. While New Year’s Day rocks along without really inspiring you as it intends.

The album fares slightly better when attempting to slow things down, more pensive slow-builders such as Secret Handshakes hinting at a stronger sense of melody, and, latterly, Begin Again From The Beginning sounding more English than American and making the most of Roe’s aching/haunting vocals.

But all too often the album feels content to trot out ponderous songs that profess to say something more important than they really are. The track names alone suggest that the band are aiming for an intelligence that’s not always born out by the music – titles such as Connections Are More Dangerous Than Lies, Begin Again At The Beginning and Act V Scene IV And So It Begins.

Far from impressing with such whimsical titles, the album tends to lose the listener from the beginning – I mean, what does When All Else Fails, It Fails mean exactly? And who cares.

The Ataris, for all their endeavour, simply fail to connect on that all-important emotional level and their music quickly becomes boring, dour and repetitive.

Download picks: Not Capable Of Love, Secret Handshakes, Begin Again From The Beginning.

Track listing:

  1. Not Capable Of Love
  2. Cardiff By The Sea
  3. New Year’s Day
  4. Secret Handshakes
  5. Cheyenne Line
  6. And We All Become Like Smoke
  7. Connections Are More Dangerous Than Lies
  8. Whatever Lies Will Help You Rest
  9. Far From The Last Last Call
  10. When All Else Fails It Fails
  11. Soundtrack For This Rainy Morning
  12. Begin Again From The Beginning
  13. Act V Scene IV And So It Begins

  1. It seems that the writer wasn’t a good reader, or listener in this case. I have had this CD for over a year, and I have yet to grow tired of it. It makes me wonder what type of musician said writer is… or once wanted to be… Elton John is on a different shelf… sorry. If you have had bad relationships, friends who have died, and have truly felt sorrow. “Other than Daddy taking away your credit card!” Then you will get what Roe has to say, and it is by far the most deep felt CD that I have heard in a long, long time. Believe there is nothing fake about it.

    Jason    Feb 20    #
  2. Um no you haven’t this album was just released in 2007 no one has had it, and no one is going to buy it it blows there just not the same anymore…

    Jason your an Idiot this album blows    Mar 8    #
  3. I have had the CD for over a year, its been on bit torrent and such. Sorry but this CD shows how the band has grown.

    tyler    Mar 9    #