Thursday, February 15, 2007

when interpol and pop-punk collide...

The Ataris
"Welcome the Night"

Before the kids started wearing make up (again) and started trying to ironically sneak in R&B and hip-hop hooks into their songs, there was once The Ataris, a quartet of chunky dudes who wore "Black Flys" and "Porn Star" t-shirts and played Descendents covers like it was nobody's business.

When you watch a band evolve, it's a lot like watching your leftovers in a microwave: it seems like like it's a slow process, when in reality, it only took a minute to get your food hot; but I suppose you also have to make sure you can stop it from exploding and making a mess all over your microwave.

I feel like I grew up with The Ataris, as I've spent much of the last seven years listening to them, yet I have this sense that I couldn't hit the stop button on the microwave soon enough. If you're looking for the band that blessed us with standards such as "San Dimas High School Football Rules" or "Make It Last," then you'll be sorely disappointed.

"Welcome the Night" is a really weird, inconsistent record that plays more like a mixtape than an actual cohesive album. It opens with the synth-heavy single, "Not Capable of Love" then segues into "Cardiff By the Sea," which sounds like a Jimmy Eat World throwaway. "The Cheyenne Line" has a guitar riff that flat out rips off Get Up Kids' "Red Letter Day."

After awhile, many of these songs all sound the same and it's really is a chore to try to distinguish one from the other. I wish I could say that this was an interesting record, but it's like Kris Roe went through Pitchfork's Top 50 from the last three years and cherry picked his favorites. While I'm all for bands changing up their sound and opting for something different, this departure is so all over the place, I feel like I'm listening to five bands instead of one.

At least they're not doing some wacky cabaret shit; if that happened, I'd lose my damn mind.

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