LP Review; Stand Atlantic: “f.e.a.r.”

Stand Atlantic made a big splash in the genre of Pop Punk with their previous releases “Pink Elephant” and “Skinny Dipping,” and with this record? Audience members were expecting just the same. However, when the band teased their new sound with song “deathwish” featuring nothing.nowhere, fans were a bit shocked with the modern influences that the artist has sprinkled into their music. Let’s dive in to see if the album mimics their single release, if it matches their old style, if it gives us their traditional sound from the previous releases, or if we are getting a combination of all of the above and then some.

Coming into 2022 swinging with 14 brand new selections under this new era for Stand Atlantic, it isn’t surprising that this album is jam-packed, and is here to challenge the traditional Pop Punk listener. This genre has evolved over the past few years to resonate more on the side of the Alternative genre; however, there are key instrumental and vocal tactics that are utilized that still keep us rooted in the Pop Punk genre- this record does just that. I found as I was listening to this record that the instrumental lines just popped with with this edgy tone with moments that compliment the vocal line. The heightened nature of the instrumentals, in the approach during each selection, helped to shape the overall genre influences that were heard throughout. As I will talk about throughout this review, although the genre influences switch, the general approach to the orchestration of the record keeps us in the Pop Punk world.

From the jump, I can say that I am getting the vibes that “deathwish” gave in their single release: the modern flair, the toying with strategic silence, the fluctuation of a disjunct but catchy vocal line, and songs packed with contrast, which helps to keep the audience on their toes and keep them wanting more. The modern influence comes from the use of electronics, vocal effects, and different sound techniques that are layered on top of their traditional instrumental line-up. This gives them more to work with in terms of timbre and approach, and makes their music feel as if it falls into a cross-market of genres.

The influences that make the music feel more “modern” doesn’t take away from the edge that Stand Atlantic’s music usually brings. On the contrary, I found that as I was listening to the record that the band was providing a lot of instrumental interludes that allowed the instrumentalists to dig into their part of the song. The use of a good instrumental breakdown never hurt anyone. (Well, aurally speaking). Additionally, I found that the intensity of some of the selections was higher than others, talking of contrast as I did earlier, this fluctuation helps to keep listeners entertained as the feel of each selection shifts to meet the intent of the artist through the lens of variety. That is all a very extra way to say, each song sounds very different yet finds an overall way to connect to the sound of the work.

One thing that stood out to me in the best way was the songs that were really paying homage to the Rock genre. The instrumentals gave us these melodic lines that worked with the lyrical line and even had moments to resonate on their own. Additionally, the melodic line in most of the selections thrived with the varying of vocal technique from sung, to a slight yell, to the changing of octave with the shifting of head voice and chest voice. This allows for different parts of the melody to pack a punch differently than other moments in the work. Imagine: you’re seeing a band live and the instrumentation drops out for everyone to scream the hook of the lyrical line. The music on this record provides very much that, but in the form of a recording for listening.

In general, I would say that this record resonates in a progressive light and feels very authentic to Stand Atlantic. Through listening, it felt that everything just worked- it didn’t seem as if they were trying to follow certain trends to make a “good” album. This project felt as if Stand Atlantic was truly coming into this era of themselves as a band, and that is very exciting to hear as an audience member.

Overall, I believe this is an album that I am going to keep coming back to through 2022 and beyond. For me, I didn’t have that as much with their previous releases: maybe a song or two, but not the entire work. With that being said, I am giving this record a 4.5 out of 5 stars. This album makes me excited about new releases, and there hasn’t been much of that as of late, so I am very excited to see what is to come.

*”f.e.a.r.” was released on May 6th, 2022 through Hopeless Records.

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