European Rock-Funk. With a Spandau Ballet cover.
Sounding like one of the many rock-funk fusion bands that were popular for a spell well over a decade ago, it is clear that Atomic Ant are all competent musicians but whether they are relevant to today's modern music fan is up for debate.
The music is all fast and furious with the guitar riffs on every track racing up and down and would be likely to create a decent moshpit during a gig. Vocally, there are a lot of similarities with Mike Patton (ex-Faith No More) with a lot of the low-end rumbles and variations sounding very familiar. The speed of vocal delivery changes frequently with words per minute not really being a barrier to getting the message across.
Musically, the album has a continual feel to it, it is quite frenetic and borders on commercial heaviness and has that European beat programmed feel running through it, the songs all have decent beats behind them but there is not much variation between the tracks. There are a few slower ballad like moments the record, such as 'Fly' but the song feels like the same, only played at a slower pace and you can feel the band champing at the bit to turn up the pace and freak out before the song ends.
Rather worryingly, they choose to cover Spandau Ballet's 'Through The Barricades.' There is an 80's revival at the moment and many acts are having career appraisals and fans coming out of the woodwork singing their praises. This track should not be one of them although Atomic Ant do make it sound like the rest of the album, so as covers go, at least they have performed their own take on it.
There is also an irony that 'Fidji', a few tracks prior to the cover, slates boy bands and the impact they have on fans. Considering Spandau Ballet and their contemporaries helped create the template for the modern boy band, there is something not quite right.
Perhaps it is their European-ness that makes this record not seem right. In the early 1990's when MTV Europe rather than MTV UK was beamed into British homes, this type of music was all the rage. White, soulless, multi-genre workouts with lyrics that come across as nonsensical, annoying or even offensive (in this day and age, no European band should be allowed to refer to people as fags as an insult and not be criticised for it) and its not really the type of music that will appeal to the majority of UK music fans.
As a debut album and sounding different from a lot of other acts at the moment, Atomic Ant will no doubt intrigue a few people early on but whether they will keep the fan base going can't be certain.