Bolder, braver and better than ever before – Lower Than Atlantis are finally where they deserve to be.
The first time I saw these guys live was at this very same venue, in 2012, when they were supporting pop-punk royalty blink-182. The journey this band has been on since that night has certainly not been a smooth one, with speculation surrounding the future of the band at numerous points – fans were always kept on edge when it came to the future of LTA.
Frustrations arose when the band persistently released music that fell on deaf ears, not to mention frontman Mike Duce’s self-confessed lack of enjoyment when performing the songs live. New life was breathed into the Watford quartet following the warm response to their self-titled fourth studio album which subsequently spurred them on to knuckle down and attempt to release some of their best music to date.
Which they did – Safe In Sound is a fantastic record that also happened to mark LTA’s first top 20 album, a feat that seems to have consumed the mind of Duce for quite some time.
Next step? To embark on the biggest, most ambitious headline tour that Lower Than Atlantis have ever performed. It was time for the lads to head on tour and show what they, and their newest calibre of songwriting are all about. Dec Hart (bass), Eddy Thrower (drums) and Ben Samson (guitar) kick the set off with a building cacophony of anticipation – to which Duce propels out onto their stage with a level excitement that I have never witnessed in the enigmatic frontman ever before. Gone were the nerves from their daunting main-stage performance at Reading + Leeds festival prior to Safe In Sound’s release – Lower Than Atlantis are reborn.
They kick off with Had Enough – the newest albums’ opener and what follows is an hour and a half of the highlights from LTA’s impressive catalogue (of which there are many). It’s hard to pick a moment that stands out from this show on an objective level – for me personally, Beech Like The Tree was emotional. It’s no secret that the new sound of Lower Than Atlantis boasts a refined, more mature attitude than their previous outputs (they’ve certainly come a long way from the lyrical prowess employed in 2007’s Bretton *cough* “show me where you piss from” *cough*). Despite that, many fans fell in love with LTA for their jagged, imperfect vibe – the staggered riffs and Duce’s unpolished vocal melodies. When they launched into Beech Like The Tree they sounded the same as they did when I first saw them 5 years ago – they hadn’t lost that touch.
This performance was the perfect demonstration of how a band can mature, progress and develop without losing touch with the sound that made them who they are today.