Preview: North Atlas Single Launch Gig, Sound Control 17th March
North Atlas may fuse the guttural aesthetics of rock n’ roll with the digitalised soundscapes of electronic music, but they are no mere crossover act. In short, this is simply an band keen on amalgamating two genres they love.
Formed late last year by two brothers of Scandinavian origin and two Scotsman whose hearts lie within the gritty confines of heavy rock, the band have just released a video for their energised, Biffy Clyro meets Daft Punk track, Hal. Filmed in various locations in Scotland/England/Finland/Japan & America, you can’t accuse them of going about this half-heartedly.
Vocally, there are unmistakable echoes of Simon Neil in the way the Scottish accent flavours crooning yet firmly executed lyrics. Musically, the thump and groove of their rock foundations duel more than they do gel with the opposing electronic fizzes and crackles, but therein that Jekyll and Hyde juxtaposition lays their character and signature brew.
Of course, it would be naive to ascend your nearest rooftop and yell ‘ingenuity’ for the world to hear – this isn't the first time these two genres have flirted with one another – yet, there is some burgeoning sense of humility and love present in their music that suggests that they aren't simply clinging on to the bandwagon or capitalising on an already carved out niche.
Orange seems to facilitate both sides to their personality in a clearer, punchier way. Clean cut guitars build a momentum beneath earworm vocals before they are replaced by rattling synths, drawing you into a chorus where it all comes together nicely. Indeed, many may feel that too many cooks spoil the broth across their tracks, but when a clearing opens for a seismic riff, later decorated with ambient, atmospherics electronics this bands potential does begin to flicker like a candle in the dark.
The true test for any band is to what kind of animal they are live, in the flesh. Are they feral and entertaining or tame and forgettable? They celebrate the launch of Hal at Sound Control this Thursday (17th March) and we’ll be there to find out. We encourage you to do the same and support new music.
Words: Phil Weller