Back at the turn of this century the group Postal Service became popular and if you paid attention to their story you would know that their name came from how they shared music. Back then sharing files over the Internet was possible but took a lot of time so the group would exchange files through good old-fashioned mail. Times have changed and creating music over vast distances has never been easier.
Rob Mason (UK) and Chris Barnett (US) met over Soundcloud and after some discussion formed Atlantic Riff. Yes, the name is a play on words about how they met. Their recent effort My Happy Place is their release, which they made over vast geographic differences.
The EP is primarily straightforward rock but flirts with other styles as well. It feels scattered at times and the recording itself could use a number of improvements (way too many ear piercing high frequencies) but occasionally it shows inspired moments.
The first track “One and the Same” is high-energy rock but it doesn’t have many defining qualities. It sounds like a hybrid of different bands. The song is decently written and is visceral but something about it feels so familiar it becomes forgettable right after you hear it.
“Running” is arguably the highlight but was a departure in feel and style from the first song. It’s slightly funky and soulful and I thought the vocals sounded good here. “Tightrope” sounds like an inspirational song you would hear in the ‘80s. There is a Richard Marx type vibe here in the delivery and lyrics. I couldn’t turn up the song very loud because there were so many piercing frequencies on this song. The last two songs “My Happy Place” and “Stand” are non-threatening pop/rock songs that contain surface level lyrics that don’t require much scrutiny.
I’m not sure what the end game is for Atlantic Riff but they still got their work cut out for them if they want to compete with today's heavyweights. This EP is a decent start with a mixed bag of songs. There is something here but I have a feeling their best work is still ahead of them.
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