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Little Atlas - Surface Serene CD (album) cover

SURFACE SERENE

Little Atlas

 

Neo-Prog

3.55 | 49 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Dan Bobrowski
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Another CD on my list of bands that would be better off as strictly instrumental. It's not that singer/keyboardist/guitarist Steve Katsikas sings off-key or flat, he just has one of those love/hate voices. For me, I find his voice rather over the top, as if he's trying too hard to sing with emotion and power.

Too bad, for me I guess, because this band has a huge amount of talent and it shows in the instrumental aspects of the band. They inflect middle eastern sounds with latin percussion, silky moog and solid bass playing, big electric guitar sound and sensual drum undercurrents. A great mix, good production and even lyrics I can find interesting. The tunes have melodies which are both hummable and memorable. I find they often stay with me all day, long after the CD player has been shut down.

The music harkens back to the glory days of prog, they don't cut any new cloth, but they play from the heart, not by the numbers. There is a passion to the performances, you feel as if they are serving up a piece of themselves. The music swirls from dainty keyboard trickles to chugging rhythm breaks. I think Little Atlas would best be appreciated in a live setting.

Honesty is a sweet tune, sung with harmony vocals from Steve's wife Joanna. It has a slight latin flavor that shifts and swells. Can I Find It has a memorable vocal line, sweeping guitar fills and nice interplay between bass and drums. Faceless can be downloaded from their record label's website: http://www.progrockrecords.com/shop/view.php?id=9 . It starts off like a Nirvana song, I can't remember the title, but it rocks along and really is a fair showcase for the bands overall sound. The bonus track, Shine, is reminiscent of some 80's classic rock tunes, with a touch of prog.

I would recommend this to fans of classic prog (Genesis, Kansas, Yes, ELP), there are no metal threads here.

Dan Bobrowski | 3/5 |

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