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Little Atlas - Wanderlust

Little Atlas - WanderlustOnce in a while, an album comes along that grabs you every time you hear it. Wanderlust is the new album from Miami based Little Atlas, who last year were at ROSfest and from reports I've read, they are something special.

It is fair to say Little Atlas are influenced by many other bands, but their sound is complex and well constructive. This is their third album to date, and it has one leg in the seventies, and the other in this millennium.

The seven tracks stretch out to a shade over fifty-two minutes, and there is a video of a multi-camera live performance of the sixth track On And On. The personnel of the band are Steve Katsikas (keys and lead vocals) Rik Bigai (bass) Diego Pocovi (drums) and Roy Strattman (guitars), and this quartet sound very polished indeed. From the opening sound of a voice-box on first track The Ballad Of Eddie Wanderlust which reminds me of Tangerine Dream's Bent Cold Sidewalk, the Rush influence hits you with the guitar sound and riffs, before the YES-type sound takes over. Steve has a fine voice which suits the music and there are plenty of examples where his vocal range is put to the test. This track changes into many instrumental passages and every time you play it, you find something new wrapped up ready to be opened.

Higher is next and starts with a gentle mood, but when the guitar solo breaks in before the acoustic section, it is totally different to when it first started. The school playground sound effects are a nice touch too on this particular track. Next track Weariness Rides has a nice piano sound, before Steve hits the scene with his soothing vocals. The whole thing ends with the big YES Awaken style, shortly before the Spocks Beard type sound eventually calls time.

Longest track The Prisoner has the Spocks Beard stamp on it, and there is a nice Supertramp section in the middle with the keyboard sound. Here Roy's guitar battles with the twiddly keyboards. This is a nice song all round, excellent playing performances with all instruments reaching their full quota, and there is the big ending on this mini epic too.

Fifth track Home has the Beatles and Spocks Beard influence, before the YES influence combined with the Latin style rhythms arrive, again taking the piece off in a different direction. On And On is the track I would say is the album's high point, with it's Beatles/Rush flavours. The violin played by Bill Ayasse makes an appearance which give it a nice edge, and closing the album Mirror Of Life opens with the gentle sound of the piano. Further on into the track there is the synth sound like an early Script period Marillion combined with the violin make this the perfect track to end this product. It is also the most ballad type track on the album.

Little Atlas have produced a real gem here, well worth checking out and a essential listen for those people that like a lot of time changes, and instrumental passages.

Danny Mayo

Little Atlas

 

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