Monday, June 11, 2007

The Streets, The Sounds Gets No Love From Me.

Guitar, bass and drums. It's not a novel concept. In fact it's used often on records. But when that's all a band relies on, something falls apart and in the case of New Atlantic's debut CD "The Street, the Sounds and the Love," plenty falls apart.

I've been a fan of New Atlantic for going on four or five years now. My brother saw them at the new defunct Empress Ballroom four summers ago and assured me, "This is a band that's going to make a statement soon. I promise you they will be big." As my brother so often does, he was correct with this band. Touring on the strength of two DIY EP's, the band has made its name with a polished and professional live set and for returning music back to it's essence. There are no catchy gimmicks, there are no tricks, no loops, nothing fabricated about their sound at all. In fact, lead singer Giovanni Gianni has a cool, silky-smooth delivery, but that's the first of many problems on "The Streets." Gianni never utilizes his vocals, in fact he's restrained for much of the disc and when he does choose to belt out, he almost sounds as if he's screeching.

Now that is not to say that this CD is a total flop. In fact lead track "Cold-Hearted Town" has been in my head for days since I first heard it. Lead single "Wire and Stone" is super catchy and many of the songs on the disc are just that, catchy. But sometimes there's more to a disc than just catchiness. Unfortunately, New Atlantic doesn't seem to get that. On prior demos, such as "Swimming In Lake Erie" and the "The Best Day of Your Life," the band utilized a piano and made that the song's centerpoint, while pianos are used on "The Streets," they are so only sparingly. When eleven straight songs offer up the same guitar/bass/drums formula without much of a wrinkle for originality, the end resuts are rather decimating.

Perhaps what's so frustrating is knowing that New Atlantic is far better than this disc alludes to. Mayhap on the next disc, they will knock one out of the park, but for now this is a bunt single that failed to advance the lead runner.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10.

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