Student Music Review: Lower Than Atlantis - World Record.Lower Than Atlantis are a four piece hardcore band from Watford – the home of other hardcore legends such as Your Demise and Gallows. Their third album Word Record is a perfect blend of punk rock, hardcore and indie rock which appeals to fans from all genres and explains the band’s popularity. They recently announced they would be playing Reading and Leeds which will only cement their popularity as a band that transcends expectations.

A warning to those thinking of trying this band out: Lower Than Atlantis moan. A lot. Lead singer Mike Duce is a self-confessed grumpy old man (even though he’s only 21) and many of the tracks are a little dour. Opening track (Motor) Way Of Life is not one of those fortunately. The riffs and drums have a very punk rocker feel to it which is a departure from their slightly vicious sound from the past. The track deals with the bands life on the road. “We are lads on tour” sums up the playful time the band spends whilst touring. Beech Like The Tree has one of the greatest opening/chorus riffs ever! It’s catchy in a pop punk sort of way but with a hint of furious hardcore just below the surface. Duce’s lyrics are slightly yelled adding a viciousness to the track but not enough to put new comers off.

I relate to High At Five so much. It deals with growing out of teens and having to deal with life outside of school. Financial woes, relationships, work – it can all be a pain and sometimes you just wish for the carefree youth you’ve just left behind. There is very much a running theme of growing up and not really wanting to throughout all of Lower Than Atlantis’ tracks. Uni 9mm is another track I relate to. It’s a slow track with Duce’s vocals sounding depressed. He sings about friends who have a normal life getting careers and moving on, whilst he and his band are in a band, still living at home, without any proper relationships. The riff is slow and complements the depressing vocals whilst the drums keep the pace from crashing into the ground.

Marilyn’s Mansion is a track about youth and imagination “This is the tree house, no girls allowed.” iI’s brilliantly immature and rare moment of comedy from the band. It’s also the most hardcore track on the album featuring slightly growled vocals and heavier, faster riffs. Deadliest Catch is a clever track using loads of different nautical language to describe an ex and their relationship “I know I know they say there’s plenty more fish in the sea, but that girl was the best catch in fifty thousand leagues, she was the one that got away”. Whilst the lyrics are meant to be witty there’s definitely a sense of sadness and regret. Working for the Man by Day, Sticking It To the Man By Night is about hating working a 9 – 5 job when the band feel their true career is as a full-time band. The intro is heavily dependent on bass with the guitar playing support. This track is pure punk attitude wrapped up in a bow and stuck on a middle finger to the band’s day jobs.

Lower Than Atlantis straddle a thin line between being a big moaning pain in the neck (Deaf Havana currently hold that honour), being a slightly heavy indie band like Don Broco or a band stuck with a sound that doesn’t quite fit like Young Guns. In this case however they’ve navigated the album brilliantly. It’s relatable, catchy, smart and sad all at the same time. An album about growing up and still feeling young. I give the album 9 out of 10. There are currently two reviews for this album on Rockhaq so that gives you no excuse not to go give this band a listen.

For fans of: Gallows, Don Broco

Download: Beech Like the Tree, Marilyn’s Mansion, Deadliest Catch