Agents Of Atlas - Safe As Sound

5 songs
19:31 minutes
***** ***


Lately there has been such a surge in new local bands that it’s hard to keep an overview of what’s going on. Amongst all these youngsters, it happens that seasoned musicians start a new band and hardly anyone is noticing… for now.

It may not be fair to call Agents Of Atlas as the follow-up to Orange Squad, but it’s a fact that two members of that legendary stoner band are now back with a new band. The two other members have also had experience in more traditional rock bands like Blue Room and Fluyd. Don’t expect another attempt at desert rock, because Agents Of Atlas have their own vision of what they want to sound like. The upbeat opener The Cell surprises with two harmonically duelling guitars, a driving rhythm section and a vocalist who used to be a drummer but is just at ease on the microphone. The following Raise continues the positive impression, showing a band that may be inspired partly by new trends in rock music but that can’t deny having its roots in the Nineties. The guitars are pleasantly gritty, the vocals, raw and melodic at the same time, integrate perfectly into the overall image. Crack Me continues with a more laid back attitude, with distorted guitars recalling long gone by days of independent rock la Sharon Stoned and Sans Secours. The slightly longer End Of Light is another slower excursion, containing some incredible keyboard parts. The EP ends with the faster No Meds that shows the band from a more contemporary post punk, indie dance direction.

Recorded during the span of an entire year by local producer icon Charel Stoltz, Safe As Sound may have a modest packaging, but the sound doesn’t give any reason to complain. I have to admit that I like Agents Of Atlas far better than the bands the members used to play in. Their marriage of vintage alternative rock sounds from the Nineties with the more modern tendencies is an overall success, and although this may be too little fashionable for teenage music aficionados, connoisseurs of timeless indie rock will rejoice at the twenty minutes of music featured on this debut EP. Let’s hope a longplayer will follow soon!

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