The Ataris
October in This Railroad Earth


3.8
excellent

Review

by Atari STAFF
July 1st, 2016 | 29 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: For those who missed The Ataris of the '90s, now's your chance

When I was younger, I couldn’t quite put a finger on exactly why The Ataris were my personal favorite band. They don’t still hold that top spot, but in hindsight, the impact they had on me during my adolescent years makes a good deal of sense. After all, I consider myself quite a nostalgic person, not too different from the band's lead singer, Kris Roe. Anyone familiar with his music knows of his love for photography, and throughout his career he’s always revisiting different times and places that affected him. His vivid recollections have a personal quality to them, like reading through someone’s diary and discovering their best kept secrets. It’s these simple, but relatable factors that gave me a deep connection with The Ataris' music all those years ago. Well over a decade later, I'm thrilled to report the band still know how to successfully merge nostalgic lyricism with good old fashioned rock 'n roll.

It’s no secret The Ataris operate at a snail’s pace; the more time passes, the more their upcoming full-length album feels like a forgotten promise of the past. So, all things considered, their surprise EP, October in This Railroad Earth, comes as a bit of a relief. Recorded in just a two-day span with the vintage warmth of analog tape, the majority of the songs on the EP were written in the early '90s before The Ataris’ debut album. The result is a fresh, yet familiar batch of songs that are sure to please longtime fans of the band’s music - especially their earlier, less pop-oriented affairs. For the select few who’ve heard their debut, Anywhere but Here, it shares a similar approach to October in the Railroad Earth, with shortened song lengths and a more aggressive bite than their later material.

Of the six tracks the band have resurrected from dust, only one of them hits the three-minute mark, while the remaining handful of songs are energetic and straight-forward rockers. ‘Trash Panda’ and ‘Silver Turns to Rust’ get the job done in less than 120 seconds, and could have easily found a comfortable home on the band’s upbeat debut; whereas ‘Peel Sessions’ contains the passionate sense of longing Kris Roe captures so well in his music. The latter is rich with melodies and reflective lyrics as he questions the logic of everyday life. Simply put, it sounds exactly like the kind of tune The Ataris were pumping out in their prime, and its optimistic vibe is sure to force a smile on the collective face of fans. By contrast, ‘They Live, We Sleep’ will come as a surprise to those who aren’t familiar with the band’s earlier work, with distorted guitars and Roe’s screams colliding in an abrupt display of aggression.

The songs on October in the Railroad Earth may have been conjured up from The Ataris’ past, but the EP feels more like a promise of things to come for the band. Given their track record, nobody can truly predict what they’ll do next, but if the band’s latest surprise EP hints at anything, it’s that The Ataris many of us know and love are still fully intact. Whether or not that means we expect a full length from them soon remains to be seen, but October in the Railroad Earth will certainly serve its purpose in the meantime. For longtime fans, it’s a welcome trip down memory lane, but it’s also an opportunity for those who missed The Ataris heyday to hear a completely different sound from the band. Long before their cover of ‘The Boys of Summer’ invaded radio stations in 2003, they played a different brand of punk rock, and this is it.




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user ratings (12)
2.9
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Atari
Staff Reviewer
July 1st 2016


26448 Comments


https://theataris.bandcamp.com/album/october-in-this-railroad-earth

sounds like their older stuff

Digging: My Bloody Valentine - Isn't Anything

SowingSeason
Moderator
July 1st 2016


37521 Comments


wait these guys are still around? will have to check this

Digging: St. Vincent - Daddy's Home

SandwichBubble
July 1st 2016


12780 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Never really liked the direction Ataris took with later releases, but this is actually pretty good.

rafalafa
July 1st 2016


220 Comments


"wait these guys are still around? will have to check this"

+1

Piripichotes
July 1st 2016


584 Comments


I'd say Ataris are more 2000eish than 90eish.... I still think end is forever as their best release, but 12 exits isn't bad...

Crawl
July 1st 2016


2804 Comments


I feel like I'm in the minority when I say I like Astoria and Welcome the Night much better than their older releases.

osmark86
July 1st 2016


10653 Comments


solid review Atari. they used to be one of my favourite bands way back in middle/high school at the turn of the millennium as well. will probably check this out for nostalgia's sake.

Digging: King Buffalo - Longing To Be The Mountain

minty901
July 1st 2016


3938 Comments


I love their Boys of Summer cover but haven't heard much else. Where do I start?

Atari
Staff Reviewer
July 1st 2016


26448 Comments


well if you love that cover you might wanna check the rest of so long, Astoria out if you haven't. great summer album. but end is forever and blue skies are the best imo, so check those too if you have the time

@crawl, you're probably in the majority with welcome the night haha. it has some great songs but I never got that into it. have you heard anywhere but here as well?

also, cheers osmark86 and everyone else






LotusFlower
July 1st 2016


12000 Comments


atari reviewing the ataris

Atari
Staff Reviewer
July 1st 2016


26448 Comments


^ lol, I'm surprised that's not like 50% of the comments

Judio!
July 1st 2016


8464 Comments


Haven't seen a review this meta since Voivod reviewed Voivod's self-titled

LotusFlower
July 1st 2016


12000 Comments


i havent seen a review this meta since the review for Sputnik's Christmas At Our House

Atari
Staff Reviewer
July 1st 2016


26448 Comments


peel sessions is so nice. don't sleep on this guys

bananatossing
July 1st 2016


1700 Comments


good username - band name ratio

lol great review, will listen

fleshstorm94
July 2nd 2016


140 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

e.p fucking rules

Spec
July 4th 2016


36290 Comments


I think the only track i've ever heard by this band was Boys Of Summer not gonna lie.

minty901
July 4th 2016


3938 Comments


Yeah but what an awesome song that is. btw since I posted my comment ^ I bought So Long, Astoria and am really enjoying it.

osmark86
July 4th 2016


10653 Comments


So Long Astoria delivers the goods, but Blue Skies, Broken Hearts...Next 12 Exits is where it is at. So many classic songs on that one.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
July 4th 2016


26448 Comments


Check them out Spec, the boys of summer is a great cover, but nowhere near their best song.

Nice minty

And yeah osmark, san dimas high school football rules was the song that got me into them in the first place. And the last song I will ever write about a girl is amazing



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