Review Summary: A memorable, consistent album from a criminally underrated band.
Everyone has a band they will always love simply because they are reminded of a simpler time. For me, this band will always be The Ataris. No other band is able to capture the spirit of my youth so well. They are most famous for their cover of 'Boys of Summer' from So Long, Astoria
. However, if you give them a chance they're not just your average cliche pop-punk band. In Fact, the band got their start when founder Kris Roe gave a demo tape to the Vandals and they decided to sign the band. They didn't always sound as poppy as they do today which is apparent on albums like End Is Forever
. Released in 2001, it's their most consistent album to date.
Forget what you think you know about The Ataris. Singer Kris Roe taught himself to play the guitar by watching people play on TV (he plays upside down). He has been the one and only constant force in the band since their first release in 1997. He's a very competent musician all around. His voice doesn't really sound like anybody else in the genre except for maybe Tony Sly of No Use For A Name, which helps give the band a fresh sound.
The album features the fan favorite 'Summer Wind Was Always Our Song'. The song showcases the improvement in production as well as Kris Roe's vocals. Everything sounds more clear and crisp than on their past efforts. As you might have guessed, the song is about relationships and has an astoundingly real emo feel to it. Not all the songs are about girls however. 'Teenage Riot' is an anthem about raising hell that gets a kickstart with an excellent drum introduction. Rebellious lyrics such as "When the cops show up and try to ruin our fun, it's time to tell them all to *** off" are prevelant throughout the song. It's a song that gets your adrenaline going and it's sure to be a real crowd pleaser at their concerts. The albums 5th track (I'm not going to bother spelling the name) is a direct refrence to a cheat in an old Contra video game. It's a highly upbeat track that has all sorts of nostalgic references about everything from video games like Galaga to the cult film Clerks. The band obviously got their name from the Atari video game system due to their love for the good old days.
It really is a shame people always dismiss this band as "the group who remade 'Boys of Summer'. The track was catchy as hell, but the band have much more to offer especially on their earlier albums. Back when The Ataris released End is Forever
, there really wasn't much else that sounded like it. It's an underappreciated and often overlooked album, just waiting for you to give it a chance.