Sound — 7
Ok, so a little over a week after it's release, I purchased "Lead Sails Paper Anchor" by Atreyu. I was thouroughly impressed with this album, it was a major step forward. a lot of fans hate when bands go major label and change their sound. Atreyu has earned it. Back in July, when I first saw the flyer in Hot Topic, I thought, out loud, "God I hope they do not go pop." They didn't, however, for the most part, they have streamlined their music, but are still Atreyu. Brandon's voice is stronger, deeper, and Alex restrains from constant screams, but shouts and sings. Marc seasons the songs. The guitar work was stellar, big solos from Dan and heavy palm muting from Travis. Same roles just bigger work. I have to give Atreyu props, Brandon triple basses, sings and keeps his drumming solid and tight. Musically, Atreyu is a group of pretty talented guys. They covered Faith No More, as a hidden track. Although I preferred their cover of Bon Jovi's "You Gave Love A Bad Name" on "The Curse," this cover was solid. The highlight for me was "Two Become One." I was nervous about the solo, because it remonded me of A7X, of which I am no fan at all. The sound they have on this release was too far a scope to really define. They cover rockabilly, '80s arena-rock, metalcore rawkus, and something like an acoustic ballad. I was impressed and I would recommend this album, with the disclaimer that the old metalcore sound has evolved into a more pure rock sound. These guys have gone from indie-label metalcore to major label rock in 10 years.
Lyrics — 5
Basic Atreyu lyrics, focusing on heartbreak, et cetera. They don't hesitate to say how truly upset they were. I have to say that lyrically, I wish they would have been as daring as they were musically. After 9 years and 5 albums, I would like to here something other than "f--k this or that." Becoming the Bull was close, focusing on overcoming struggles. I find myself singing along to this song in my head, even when the album is not playing. The lyrics fit well with each song respectively, although they did not stray far from convention there. They are still pissed that someone hurt them, and exclaim "f--k" and "shit" in the song "Blow." "Two Become One" stood out because the lyrics for that particular song were, surprisingly positive.
Overall Impression — 8
The last song Lead Sails (and A Paper Anchor) was far from "Lip Gloss and Black" as they have gone. It starts off with a steel guitar and acoustic strumming, although far from "Free Bird." The ambitious and pretentious hidden-track cover of Faith No More was ballsy, but I would expect nothing less. These guys have the balls to do so, and they did it. It did the song justice, with a bit of Atreyu-flair. Overall I say that it compares well to their other albums. It is nothing like them, in the fact that it stands as an older brother. Many Atreyu purists did not like Deathgrip, but I did. Going back and listening to their older albums and songs again, I can trace musical growth and changes. It isn't "Fractures" or "Suicide Notes" but it is still Atreyu. Like I have said, after 10 years, their sound has changed. The downside is, their lyrics have not. I would recommend this album, but with the disclaimer that Atreyu has in fact, gone major label. Their sound has changed. I will be listening to this album a lot on my Ipod and at work.