Having drawn inspiration from 90's grunge, rock and punk-pop bands, it follows that Lower Than Atlantis have developed a bit of a penchant for creating dirty, aggressive music loaded with spiked barbs of indignation. Having undergone their fair share of sticky patches where they nearly gave up after several members bade them farewell (it’s not clear whether their band name is a reaction to the situation), they have experienced what they term a "metamorphosis". This debut album sees them re-energised and delving into the gritty subjects of recession, unemployment and a disenchanted youth.The name of the album is a rather ham-fisted insult ("Far Q" - say it fast over and over to spot the profanity), but it does fit in rather well with the album’s general tone. The title-track, predictably, is all mouth with vocalist/guitarist Mike Duce screaming at his long-departed father amidst a swathe of semi-breaks and bullet snares.Accessible harmonising chorus hooks, like the ones that run through ‘B.O.R.E.D.’ and ‘I’m Not Bulimic (I Just Wanted To See How Far I Could Stick My Fingers Down My Throat)’ bring them sailing back to the safety of the shore, before a hail of peaking riffs meet a wave of murderous angst for the brilliantly frenzied ‘Eating Is Cheating’ and ‘A/S/L’ which threaten a capsize as LTA rock the boat once more. What stands out through all this is the bass and drum thunder that anchors it all – a testament to the nifty production skills of Daniel Lancaster who seems to have made light of having to work in an office space above a factory. It’s simply outstanding in places - check the fat strings on album highlight ‘Face Full Of Scars’ or Eddy Thrower’s pitching drum timings during ‘A/S/L’.Tacky gang vocals (“We are the kids of the recession” - mimicking Enter Shikari does them no favours) and bizarrely immature samples (“Anyway, like, I don’t know, yeah, bye”) creep in to break any illusion of potency that the band have built up, but these are small errors in judgement that can be ironed out as the band mature. However, they still have enough class to show that, with a flick of the wrist, they can halt the pace and produce a gem - the cringingly-titled ‘Mike Duce’s Symphony In D Minor’ allows the vocalist to softly deliver more guile and passion than during any of his attempts to pierce our eardrums.By proving they can be more versatile than Hexes and sharper than Ghost Of A Thousand, Lower Than Atlantis have given us and their peers a bit of a shock. If they can build up from this base camp, they may yet make it as high as they’re clearly hoping to reach to.Making of the Far Q album art:[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARbqqiUoPNg[/youtube]

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