Atlas Genius’ recent rise to the top of the alternative rock charts is as abrupt as the first track on its new album, “When It Was Now.” The album follows the band’s EP, “Through The Glass,” which was released last summer and featured the hit single “Trojans.”
Opening with “Electric,” it is immediately clear that keyboardist Darren Sell and brothers Keith (vocals/guitar), Steven (bass) and Michael Jeffrey (drums) aren’t messing around. As the title implies, “Electric” showcases the band’s ability to mix catchy electronic synth with sturdy percussion and guitar. While certainly a departure from “Trojans,” which is characterized by a stronger focus on vocals and guitar, the band’s original sound remains intact.
The eponymous track “When It Was Now” falls somewhere between “Trojans” and “Electric,” and it is one of those great moments where each member’s talents are showcased equally. The result is a tune that clearly defines the young Australians’ sound — solid, well-produced rock with a pop edge that would not be out of place at your favorite coffee shop or blasting from your iPod.
This is evident on tracks like “Back Seat,” which features interesting lyrics such as “Cold backstreet / The flicker of a light that an eye couldn’t meet,” and some unusual yet interesting guitar picking. The song was released with the band’s EP last year, but it still stands out on the full album.
While “Trojans” continues to reign as the band’s best release, the whole of “When It Was Now” doesn’t lag far behind. Each track is carefully constructed from the lyrics to the keys. Fans of the alt-rock hit single, and of artists ranging from Jack’s Mannequin to Walk the Moon, will appreciate a fresh, new sound on the indie-rock airwaves.