Savage Fun Rich Anger
Atreyu have been around for several albums and have begun to make money, so longtime fans cry foul because their band did the unthinkable and “sold out” (as if that phrase is any more relevant these days than the term “alternative”). New album Lead Sails Paper Anchor does feature a different Atreyu, but not one that is entirely unfamiliar. The screaming guitar solos are still firmly in place, the lyrics dripping with pain and tempered by sarcasm are still around, but now the blast-beats have been replaced with more experimental time signatures and drumming styles. The vocals, though still harsh, feature more musicality (better diction and tune) this time around.
If you go back and listen to the last few Atreyu albums you’ll see a definite progression. Their music has gotten more complex, and this album is the pinnacle of that trend thus far. The trappings of metalcore have been pulled aside to allow us to see the boys for what they really are: older, wiser and better songwriters than they were in the Butterfly Kisses era.
“Doomsday” starts things off with a bang, featuring enough savagery to be on your driving-in-the-city mixtape, but a singalong chorus that might surprise you. “Falling Down” really shows that Atreyu wanted to try a totally different sound than they’ve ever displayed before: metalcore-swing, perhaps? There are other highlights too, like the poppy “No One Cares” where tones of the guilty pleasure of Bon Jovi bleed through the angst and brutality. “Blow,” meanwhile, sounds like raw punk-metal only slowed down a bit.
The key here is that Atreyu sound like theyâ€šÃ„Ã´re actually having fun. That may not sit right with the hardcore Atreyu followersâ€šÃ„Ã®fun isn’t cool, you knowâ€šÃ„Ã®but it certainly makes for a great rock album.