Safe In Sound is Lower Than Atlantis’s latest release, a punchy 10 track album. A wonderfully crisp representation of their reckless vulnerability. The English rock band formed in 2007 and have released five albums to date including this one; an impressive and consistent amount of material in 10 years. The first thing that strikes me about the album is the choice of title Safe In Sound. Music acts as a sanctuary for many people, which this title encapsulates. It also entails the idea that there is a certain degree of security found in listening to music you like. This sensitivity is very commonly utilised by lyricists in the alt-rock genre and fits the style impeccably.
They kick things off with some of their signature aggressive rock. The opening track Had Enough, is a rhythmically exciting and busy number which sets a firm pace for the album as a whole. It begins with a catchy riff and distant echoed vocals building up to the chorus. The strong rhythmic base for this track matches the harsh lyrical choices. I would almost describe this song as a musical punch bag, good for when you need to let out some anger.
The album has many different themes including sadness, angst and a little bit of romance. The diversity of the songs and the way they make you feel make it much more appeasing on the ear and allows you to relate to each song in a different way (plus it would be rather boring if all the songs had too much in common). The track I Would is about unrequited romance and the lengths you might go and the crazy things you would do for someone you like to notice them. It’s almost like a commentary of someone’s thoughts and their attempt to justify their actions. Listening to the lyrics I noticed a familiarity between Lower Than Atlantis and Bring Me The Horizon. The use of the lyrics, “I would kill a man just to hold your hand” follows the same theme as Follow You by BMTH who wrote, “So you can drag me through hell, if it meant I can hold your hand.” Both bands use the same self-deprecating tone to address how they feel about someone, which again highlights this vulnerability that many artists in the genre act upon.
It’s interesting to listen to their new album in retrospect to their older material and see how the band have progressed in style. Since their first couple of albums, Lower Than Atlantis have made a very smooth transition from heavy rock to more of an emphasis on indie/alt rock tracks. However, they have still stuck to their melodic rock roots. On the recent release Work For It” shows the most similar traits to their older and heavier tracks. The serious grungy guitar and loud vocals from lead singer Mike Duce really reflect their pure rock roots, which I’m glad they haven’t completely left behind. In contrast, track 8 “Money” has a noticeably different sound. The beginning is almost electro-rock with an ethereal tone. It sounds as though the band have created a sample and reversed it to create the interesting introduction to this track which really demonstrates how much the band have grown in diversity of sound.