The Photo Atlas .::. Yes, Yes You, Always

There's something to be a said for the possibility of omens. Denver's The Photo Atlas were both the first (Annex, opening for The Horrors) and last (Pure Volume loft party) band that I saw at 2006's CMJ Marathon. Since then, they'd been relatively quiet, and I made sure to mention them as I went blushing all over the remiscing of my first - and probably last - Horrors set.

In any case, The Photo Atlas has returned with No, Not me, Never on Stolen Transmission/Morning After Records. Coming out March 6th (tour dates are down below) and I do highly recommend them. Singer Alan Andrews has a quaking voice much in the vein of Oberst a la Desaparacidos, and there's a very Saddle-Creek slant to much of their song-writing. Still, something stands apart in their blatant homage to the later rungs of post-hardcore rock before it was completely swallowed whole by the major label sound. Something like No, Not Me, Never may be perfect for this new record label (it belongs to Ultragrrrl, you know) because their sound is not at all amateur, and yet doesn't fit neatly into the nooks of some of the best indie labels out there (Merge, Suicide Squeeze, Lovitt, etc.)

Guys in jeans with [very nice] haircuts

After their final set at CMJ, I had a chance to talk with Alan about their breaking out of the Denver scene. A member of Vaux had recently been interviewed for Alternative Press, where he proclaimed that much of the band's inspiration came from the isolation of Denver. On the contrary, Andrews seemed to disagree with the comment, explaining that the relative distance between a whole cluster of major cities (albeit not as close as, say, New York's centralizations to its surrounding cities) provides just enough distance to allow wires to cross in a very creative way.

It shows.

I popped this record in to my car, turned up the volume, and with each song would proclaim, "My god! This CD is fucking AWE. SOME." With each listen, I agree more and more. The lyrics begin to unfold, and picking apart the simplistic, kinetic, scattered songwriting come through. I mean, hell, even "The Walls Have Eyes," with its hand-claps and all, take from the classic hardcore breakdown even though The Photo Atlas' music sound nothing of the sort. "Broadcasting Feedback," on another side, has such Placebo-influenced sound to their guitar...I love it!

Did I mention this is a great record to dance to?

I'm ready to spread the word.

02.02 Odgen, UT @ Burt’s Tiki Lounge
02.03 Colorado, CO @ The Element
02.04 LongBeach, CA @ Alex Bar
02.05 LosAngeles, CA @ Knitting Factory
02.07 LasVegas, NV @ University Theater
02.11 Tempe, AZ @ The Sets*
02.13 Austin, TX @ The Parish*
02.14 Dallas, TX @ Gypsey Tea Room*
02.15 Houston, TX @ Walters On Washington*
02.17 Tampa, FL @ Orpheum*
02.18 Orlando, FL @ Backbooth*
02.19 Atlanta, GA @ Vinyl Lucy*
02.21 St.Louis, MO @ Off Broadway*

*w / Young Love, Moros Eros

Audible: The Photo Atlas - "The Walls Have Eyes"
Audible: The Photo Atlas - "Broadcasting Feedback"
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/danceatlasdance

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