Die Shellsuit, Die!

An Alternative Music Magazine

I Woke The Devil

Survive Atlantica

‘Hi, can I speak to Jesse Lacey please?

‘Hi Jesse, nice to talk to you. I just have a couple of questions if that’s alright’
‘No worries, you sound like an insightful and talented journalist’
‘Thanks Jesse, it’s true. Now I need to speak to you about this album you just recorded, I have to be honest, it’s the worst thing you have ever done, it sounds incredibly derivative of your work. In fact it sounds a lot like you just listened to The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Of Me, then took away all the good parts from it and tried to record a horrible imitation of it’
‘What’s the album called you have been listening to?’
‘It’s called I Woke The Devil Jesse’
‘That isn’t one of my albums but it sounds like it should be a Brand New album title. Is there lots of shouty shouty, quiet, quiet vocals?’
‘Indeed there is Jesse, in fact, it sounds like the vocalist is desperately trying to copy your vocal style and your lyrical style, lots of obtuse symbolism and religious references, though done much, much worse’
‘I’m quite suspicious of this album now; could you sum it up for me please?’
‘No worries Jesse, in fact I just happen to have a pithy summary of it written down. I said that comparing this album to Brand New is a lot like comparing Lewis Hamilton to his brother. Sure they are related, but they shouldn’t even attempt to do the other one’s job’
‘That is very amusing, though in slightly bad taste. You are incredibly witty and probably handsome as well’
‘Thanks Jesse but I have to go; my incredibly attractive girlfriend has just turned up’
‘Goodbye, I didn’t catch your name though I guess it is something awesome, I would wish you luck with your life though you obviously don’t need it’

Of course that conversation is not entirely true, I am without doubt not an insightful and talented journalist. But the rest, aside from most, is true.

I’m sorry Survive Atlantica but this album is pretty terrible. In fact it tries so hard to be edgy and alternative, that is just meanders into a sea of blandness and forced emotion. Incredibly unhelpful is that every song sounds almost exactly like the last one. At one point I was convinced I was close to finishing the album to find myself only on track 4.

But I’m not a complete bastard; there are some positives Survive Atlantica can take from this. The album artwork is really good and erm….

No I jest, Survive Atlantica do have some obviously grandiose plans and have the ability to craft multi-layered, multi-parted songs with many layers to them. The technical side of their song writing approach is impressive though they need to work on creating an album that gives them a unique sound and not just a derivative of another bands sound. Equally important is to throw in some tracks that get beyond the tempo of a nun driving a Skoda near a school.

I think this album would have worked better as an EP because it does suffer from feeling remarkably samey, and the task of sitting through the whole album is an arduous one. But, if you do work your way through the treacle like dross that litters it, you will stumble upon Epilogue which is a damn fine song. But while other songs have their moments, album opener 17:02 has a nice choral style section which shows some song writing ingenuity, none reach the peaks of Epilogue in fact most struggle to even get anyone close to it.

I Woke the Devil is a pretty poor album, but not a disaster. As a learning experience it will be invaluable in allowing Survive Atlantica to grow as a band and there are obviously the green shoots of promise in there. They just need the right surroundings to grow into which are, a clear and unique musical style, a better vocal delivery and some more up-tempo songs.

I would write more but Max Bemis just rang my doorbell, I hear he needs some help writing his next album.

Listen: www.myspace.com/surviveatlantica