Alternative rock trio Blank Atlas are making a storm with catchy riffs and upbeat rhythms in their new EP, Canvas. Following the success of their debut EP, Solitude in 2016, the trio have devoted their time to touring and shared stages with the likes of Dream State, Allusondrugs and Max Raptor.

I Was Told This Is How Wars Start opens with a strong catchy guitar riff – bending the string upwards to create an edgy buildup. Short burst of heavier chords maintains the edgier atmosphere of the track whilst the vocals add a more melodic tone to the track. With all three members involved with vocals, the track has greater dimension and depth with the sound. The tones of the three members complement each other well. The opening track of the EP shows off the heavier side of Blank Atlas’ songwriting – dirty bass riff in the bridge and prominent percussion takes the track in a prog direction. This is emphasized by the dissonant stabbing chords featuring in the track’s outro.

Halfway There involves a more energetic and upbeat rhythm. The tone of the track is far more optimistic and draws away from the darker, heavier sounds of I Was Told This Is How Wars Start. This track conforms more to the stereotypical form of an alt rock track. Each part is well executed and creates a full sound. However, this track doesn’t particularly stand out in this genre. The use of dissonant, uncomfortable sounds featuring in outros appears to be a regular occurrence with a chorus of scratchy, ascending guitars ending the track that certainly adds something unusual to Blank Atlas’ sound. Maintaining the high energy levels, Sing For Something opens with a bouncing guitar chord sequence. Soaring lead vocals elevate the track whilst the instrumentation remains busy underneath. Vocal harmonies in the chorus are really effective at enhancing the sound.

Borrowed Time takes a turn into funk, opening with percussion and stabbing guitar chords. The contrapuntal layering of the drumbeat, guitars and vocals creates an interesting melody. Erupting into a full continuous sound for the chorus develops the song further – the juxtaposing sparse and full sections emphasizes the effect of both. All three vocal styles are clearly portrayed in this track also; each vocal tone appears to have been carefully chosen for the sections of the track that they suit best. Blank Atlas include a twist with the sudden dive into heavier tones.

Blank Atlas clearly have a lot going for them with strong capabilities respecting song writing. Their ability to create catchy and memorable riffs and motifs will grip their listeners. With such a solid start, Canvas will open more doors for this up-and-coming group.

7/10

For fans of: Meshuggah, Biffy Clyro, Arcane Roots
Words by Holly Royle

‘Canvas’ by Blank Atlas is released on 5th October.

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