Album Review. Freeze The Atlantic – Speakeasy

Freeze The Atlantic  – Speakeasy.

Freeze The Atlantic are a British rock band who formed in 2008 and have spent the past four years carefully shaping their sound and finding their groove ahead of the release of their debut album, Speakeasy, which is unleashed to the world  September 17th 2012 through the ever handsome Alcopop records. With members of both Hundred Reasons and Reuben at the helm, Freeze The Atlantic already have a colourful backstory that many  bands would let overshadow and taint their new project but Freeze The Atlantic aren’t simply sitting atop their laurels waiting for the future, they’re grabbing it with both hands and forcing it to comply.

Speakeasy, composed of eleven beautifully crafted masterpieces, is an unrelenting aural attack that soars high while brutally trampling everything in its wake. The swift one-two of openers ‘Shivering and Dazed’ and ‘Conflict! Conflict!’ decimate then seduce with catchy, frantic beauty. The sheer number of captivating, enticing moments within the first few songs is staggering and acts as a testament to Freeze The Atlantic’s song craft. You may worry that they’ve used all their hooks and shown their hand too early, but as Speakeasy progresses and you get blown away, track by track, it’s a worry that soon evaporates to nothing.

Freeze The Atlantic really get how to use a guest vocalist, exploring the differing texture caused by these vocalists to give tracks further depth without altering the overall sound, skewing the fit within the album or becoming the focus. Lead single ‘Volcanoes’ is a gargantuan beast, hooks strategically litter the foundations while crushing riffs tear down walls. Liv Puente from Laurso features to lift the already anthemic chorus to surprising heights before sending the track spiraling to a clattering, chaotic conclusion.

It’s not all drumming brutality and unforgiving riffs though, Freeze The Atlantic are also adept at the hard-hitting and emotionally gripping side of things, as evident with the luxurious ‘Crestfallen’. Delicate keys echo out from under the stripped back vocals before acoustics join the fragile fray. ‘Crestfallen’ gradually and gracefully balloons from there until it reaches a dizzy emotive peak then cradles you back to a safe plateau with a soft, reassuring close.

‘Loses All The Romance’ counters the slow building ballad of ‘Crestfallen’ with a vicious opening that injects the pace back into Speakeasy. Swells and fades are at the backbone of ‘Lose All The Romance’ with furious forward momentum stopping and starting, exploiting the self assured control that ebbs constantly underneath the thirty-five minute goliath of Speakeasy. Hundred Reason’s Colin Duran assists on vocals to take ‘Loses All The Romance’ to a new found, much adored, intense corner of the Freeze the Atlantic spectrum.

‘The Alibi’ is the stuttering pre-conclusion to Speakeasy, oozing with swagger it’s a more pristine recording than was originally featured on the superb “Colour By Numbers” EP and this time JP Reid of Sucioperro/Marmaduke Duke fame helps out by delivering a majestic vocal bridge in his distinctive drawl that matches the endearing captivation of the rampant instrumental monster that surrounds it.

‘Feather in a Hurricane’ is a fittingly refined conclusion to an album as great as Speakeasy. It’s a musical epic that shows a more grandiose level of Freeze The Atlantic that’s incredibly well conveyed and leaves you with a very pleasant and satisfied feeling of contentment.

One doesn’t merely say there isn’t a bad track on Speakeasy for there isn’t a single moment that doesn’t bask in brilliance, whether it be the carnage of an thumping, electric ‘Broken Bones’ or the subdued, understated charm of ‘Crestfallen’, every track is a thundering powerhouse of superb genius that works on every level conceivable. Speakeasy could easily be repackaged as a masterclass in British rock excellence as it dives this way and that, constantly delivering. Freeze The Atlantic have come together and united to form an awesome and huge sound that’s laden with hooks and promise. Resonating and glorious, Speakeasy is a considered, concise debut that’s layered with a quiet self-assurance and natural charm that works as one to deliver a delightful and gratifying listening experience.

So buy it here. or here.

Freeze The Atlantic are supporting the wonderful Sucioperro on select dates of their Fused tour as well as playing a couple of headline shows. They’re an ace live band, so check out these tour dates and make it to a show.

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~ by justdip on 16/09/2012.

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