BY JOHN B. MOORE
Just one song into their debut, and it’s clear the brothers that make up the Australian sibling band Atlas Genius clearly have a jones for the synth bands of the early 80’s with echoes of everyone from Depeche Mode and New Order to Human League on their full length. Getting deeper into their debut, When It Was Now, those influences are expanded to include others like The Killers and Franz Ferdinand, but the 80’s New Wave stamp is still pretty apparent throughout all 11 tracks.
The Atlas Genius backstory is an indie rock band’s fantasy: they recorded their first song at home, put it online and sat back and watched as e-mail offers from labels, managers, booking agents and lawyers flooded their inbox (which I’m assuming is the 21st century version of a winning a Battle of the Bands and getting a visit backstage from a manager…). Despite now sitting comfortably on the Warner Bros. roster, Atlas Genius has still managed to maintain a solid indie rock sound.
Though the songs can come off as occasionally sterile (“On A Day” quickly comes to mind), it’s still a pretty impressive collection of songs from a band that’s only been around for a few years. The opening track (“Electric”) and the second song (“If So”) are the strongest on the album, leaving the release a bit top heavy, but in the age of digital singles and shuffle that should hardly be a problem for the band.
DOWNLOAD: “Electric,” “If So” and “All These Girls”