Over the last few years Stand Atlantic have been steadily making a name for themselves as stalwarts of an ever expanding, nigh on oversaturated pop punk scene where you can barely take one step before coming across 10-15 bands that all sound the same. They did this all the while keeping their collective heads comfortably above water as they relentlessly tour, tour, tour the world, all off the back of just two releases; their 2017 Sidewinder EP and Skinny Dipping, their 2018 debut full length album. Of course, diehard fans will know they had a couple of EP releases prior to these, but it’s with this more recent material that they began to gather up wider notice on a near worldwide scale. Building such a solid reputation in a scene that’s crammed to capacity with DIY startup bands is no easy feat, but with their sophomore record Pink Elephant, Stand Atlantic are no longer simply staying afloat but surfing ahead of the wave.
An evolution in their sound is evident right off the bat, opening track ‘Like That’ trading the more stereotypical guitar driven leads for upbeat pop hooks that manage to land just right every time, a flawless blend of modern pop sensibility with just enough distorted strings left in to really bolster the song into a high energy, danceable number. This technique only strengthens itself with synth laden second track ‘Shh!’ followed by a flirtation with gloomy, off-key bursts of electronic noise on ‘Blurry’, which hits like a down-toned Carly Rae Jepsen song. Sounds a bit weird, but believe us, that’s a good thing.
Even in places where the record drifts back into more traditional habits with songs like ‘Jurassic Park’ and energetic album closer ‘Hate Me (Sometimes)’ there are elements sprinkled throughout that show how comfortable Stand Atlantic have become with flexing their musical creativity. Licks of steel drum and xylophone carrying the melody of their songs to new heights, setting themselves apart from their peers in a spectacular fashion. Little touches and flairs like this all over the album really make each track stand out from each other, the hollow sounding flick and pop effects that carry through ‘Silk & Satin’, and what sounds like wood planks falling or being knocked together on ‘Soap’ demonstrate the fine detailed craftsmanship that went into really perfecting each track.
Some of Pink Elephant’s proudest moments come from ‘Eviligo’, starting off light and bouncy before exploding into a crescendo of pop punk noise, vocalist/guitarist Bonnie Fraser showcasing the fine balance she maintains between strained and melodic singing styles, and the more solemn ‘Drink To Drown’ a piano and strings accompanied piece that invokes tones certain to be adopted as a fan favourite for those of whom, like many of us, use music is a release for our innermost emotion.
Stand Atlantic are well on track to become the next key players in the scene and potentially even bust it wide open. With Pink Elephant they’ve taken a colossal leap to no doubt find themselves not just at the front of the crowd, but noticeably ahead of the curve too. Pop punk has a long history as a gateway genre - especially for younger or newer music fans into the wider world of alternative music styles - and with a record that truly blurs the lines between this and the more streamlined successes of top hit songwriting, this could well be the record that defines the rest of their career.
Stand Atlantic will be touring next Spring in support of the record.
Dates can be seen below.