Atreyu
Lead Sails Paper Anchor


1.5
very poor

Review

by Dave de Sylvia STAFF
August 25th, 2007 | 350 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Atreyu aim for the middle and hit a tree.

I don’t usually pay attention to the press releases which accompany most new albums. Unless the artist is completely unknown, the amount of useful information which can be gleaned from the sheet is usually minimal. For some god-unbeknownst reason, Artist X always feels compelled to inform me, in too many words, that his or her latest release is bigger, badder and better than the last one, before closing with an unsolicited opinion on the dire state of modern music. It’s uncanny. Metal press garbs are more predictable still: album X is always heavier; always faster; always more melodic; always more mature; and always more brutal, even if the music was never “brutal” to begin with. None of it makes any sense- it’s not supposed to make any sense- so why bother reading them" Life’s just too short.

Every so often though, I’m reminded why I bother. The cover sheet for Atreyu’s new album Lead Sails Paper Anchor- their first since for Disney’s Hollywood Records (Roadrunner outside North America) and their fourth in total- is about as insightful a review as I’ve read. Not in terms of the actual content- that’s the usual mixture of hype-inducing babble and blatant lies courtesy of frontman Alex Vankatzas- but for one fact: it presents the album as all things to all people. Whatever you want to hear, that’s what they’re playing- and that is exactly what Lead Sails Paper Anchor tries to do. You want down-tuned, brutal hardcore Atreyu" You got it! You want ultra-melodic pop-rock Atreyu" You got it! You want ‘80s metal Atreyu" You got it! You want struggling against adversity and the establishment Atreyu" You got it! You want tireless music innovators Atreyu" You guessed it… you got that too! You want Fall Out Boy" Well, they didn’t advertise that, but they gave it to you anyway.

Making an all-encompassing rock record is no easy task and, to their credit, Atreyu have stepped up to the task. Following the lead of Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows, Vankatzas has for the most part ditched his trademark scream and embraced melody, taking cue from the likes of Buckcherry’s Josh Todd (who appears on the second-to-last track ‘Blow’) and Social Distortion’s Mike Ness, though drummer Brandon Saller continues to provide the band’s real melodic impetus. Instrumentally, the differences are less obvious. ‘Doomsday’ provides some continuity, kicking off with a simple, pulsating thrash riff which recalls Master Of Puppets-era Metallica. From there, the group branches out into poppy post-hardcore (‘Honor’), pop punk (‘Slow Burn’), cock rock (‘Blow’), nu metal (‘Two Become One’) and, devastatingly, country (‘Lead Sails (And A Paper Anchor). For the purpose, they make use of a saz, a Turkish lute-like device, during ‘Lose It’, programmed horns in ‘Falling Down’ and, if you’ll believe the press bio, opera vocals- though I haven’t been able to locate them thus far.

The problem with this approach is, despite the initial novelty, Atreyu aren’t particularly good at any of the new styles they attempt. They’re by no means bad musicians, but Lead Sails Paper Anchor takes massive strides where baby steps were required, and it shows. The chorus of ‘Slow Burn’ recalls the elongated melodic lines of Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump, however neither Varkatzas nor Sallin (who sings the chorus) possesses Stump’s melodic range, and the use of pitch-correction is liberal, to say the least. So liberal, in fact, that it’s difficult to tell at times whether it’s used as an actual vocal effect or if the producer (Goldfinger frontman John Feldmann) is just too lazy to smooth out the deficiencies. Whatever the answer to that question, the vocals sound strikingly synthetic, even to the untrained ear, as do the monstrously overcooked gang vocals which adorn stadium rockers ‘Falling Down’ and ‘Blow.’

The latter is one of the album’s highlights, an infectious sleazy rocker which benefits not only from the superior vocal talents of Josh Todd, but from cowbell, and an expletive-ridden lyric aimed at people like me, who only have bad things to say about the group, and rightly point out that they’ve succeeded quite well without overwhelming critical support. ‘Falling Down’ is a similar-type glam rock shuffle, boasting a Bad Religion-inspired chorus and culminating in a delightfully cheesy call-and-response routine between guitar and horns, a la Extreme II. Opening twosome ‘Doomsday’ and ‘Honor’ have their moments, the latter hinging on the anthemic chorus call of “fight, fight, fight ‘til the break of dawn!” The bulk of the album, however, just isn’t distinctive or engaging, copycat offerings which serve little other purpose than to remind the listener that there are other, better albums to listen to. And that’s the short answer to Lead Sails Paper Anchor’s existential question.



Recent reviews by this author
And So I Watch You From Afar GangsAll Time Low Dirty Work
Linkin Park A Thousand SunsAdebisi Shank This is the Second Album
AFI Crash Lovefun. Aim and Ignite
user ratings (1176)
Chart.
2.5
average
other reviews of this album
tribestros (3)
Atreyu's major-label debut is one of heavy criticism and hard-to-digest change....

sonictheplumber (1.5)
I guess they really do suck....

Thriceremoved25 (4)
For older fans of Atreyu, you're are probably disappointed. For newcomers of the band, welcome to a...



Comments:Add a Comment 
BallsToTheWall
August 25th 2007


48187 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

The singer was talkin about some cradle of filth influence. Any of that found on here?

Digging: CZARFACE - Every Hero Needs a Villain

204409
Emeritus
August 25th 2007


3998 Comments


I'm not even going to bother listening. I'll spin [i[Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses[/i] for some 10th grade nostalgia now and then but everything since has sucked too much to care.

gasmaskman
August 25th 2007


1006 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I bought (LOL, really) Death-grip and it seems that if Alex would STFU and let the drummer just sing, they would be 100x better.

masscows
August 25th 2007


2230 Comments


I was expecting this to be 1-1.5 territory. Good review.

MeowMeow
August 25th 2007


662 Comments


I was honestly thinking about checking this out. Your song descriptions pretty much told me I would hate this, though. Good job.

plane
Emeritus
August 25th 2007


6839 Comments


Fuckin', the myspace is down for me.

Great review per usual, Splat. Particularly like the summary and second paragraph.

Otisbum
August 25th 2007


1913 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great review.



I expect this to be a 3-3.5, me being / having been somewhat of an Atreyu fanboy.

Fort23
August 25th 2007


2968 Comments


God I dont even want to think about this album. Id rather see alex scream his ugly screams then to hear him do some stupid 80s mertal torture.


Good review and such.

SlitYerGuts
August 25th 2007


75 Comments


i dunno i'd really like to hear some MERTAL TORTURE

ToWhatEnd
August 25th 2007


3172 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hey Spat, there's a guy from Atreyu named Dan Jacobs. You definitely need a bit more of him in this review. His leads were quite impressive on this I thought. I actually thought they did a good job on the record. But I'll stop talking and finish my review eventually.

handsomerob2
August 25th 2007


58 Comments


When I heard this album was being released today, I actually laughed out loud. Two albums in two years? How could a band with so little talent manage that? I assume your rating is accurate, though I bet that you are being generous. This Message Edited On 08.25.07

Kiran
Emeritus
August 25th 2007


6021 Comments


Ok.

Take away the fact that this is Atreyu (and all the resent that comes with that), take away the fact that they've changed their style, take away the recent history of changing label and what not, and listen to the music for what it is.

This isn't a bad rock album. Not bad at all.

Jom
Staff Reviewer
August 26th 2007


2992 Comments


I loved the first two paragraphs, dude. Hahaha.

tribestros
August 26th 2007


918 Comments


Nice review, but you kind of fall into all the misguided hate for Atreyu, and don't even bother giving Lead Sails Paper Anchor a chance.

I also hate how you seem to deal in extremes.

SlitYerGuts
August 26th 2007


75 Comments


SOP only listened to two songs!

blackmilk
August 26th 2007


583 Comments


The chorus of ‘Slow Burn’ recalls the elongated melodic lines of Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump, however neither Varkatzas nor Sallin (who sings the chorus) possesses Stump’s melodic range, and the use of pitch-correction is liberal, to say the least.
that sentence felt a little weird when i read it

nice review & all

tribestros
August 26th 2007


918 Comments


Doesn't surprise me. A lot like Korn's new album, people just toss the music aside because its Korn or Atreyu.

tribestros
August 26th 2007


918 Comments


No, not really. When going in reviewing an album, best to forget their former works.

Electric City
Emeritus
August 26th 2007


15762 Comments


I have an easier time understanding that this album is terrible and I enjoy this review because it's entertaining to read. SOP knows what he's doing, take some tips.

SlitYerGuts
August 26th 2007


75 Comments


actually he probabyl didnt listen to any of the album!



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy