Atreyu – Lead Sails Paper Anchors

  • Bobby Gorman posted
  • Reviews


Lead Sails Paper Anchors - Hollywood Records

Lead Sails Paper Anchors was lined up as one of the best hardcore albums of the year. On top of the band’s already well known status, Hollywood Records spared no expense promoting the record leading up to the release date. Daily updates were sent out with new video clips, intricate games with singles hidden within them, and of course, full streams. The record was pushed in every direction possible for weeks before it hit stores, helping it become one of the most talked about releases of the summer before it even hit the shelves. Once it did though, all the chatter stopped. The record fell flat. While the hardcore fans still went out and bought it, as Atreyu passed their release date, no one was talking about the record anymore as if all that promotion yielded no results.

However, I don’t think all that promotion fell on deaf ears. I do think people went out and bought it (or downloaded it) and the reason no one talked about the release was simply because there wasn’t anything to really talk about.

When it comes down to it, Lead Sails Paper Anchors is bland hardcore/emo record from a band in the middle of an identity crisis. No one can deny the evolution the band has undergone during their career, going from heavy metalcore on Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses to more radio friendly pop-emo on A Death Grip On Yesterday, but at least all those records had a common trend holding them together.Lead Sails doesn’t even have that and instead sees Atreyu desperately reaching out to too many genres all at once.

Doomsday sees the band picking up where they left off with A Death Grip On Yesterday with a slight Avenged Sevenfold vibe whereas Falling Down is a more easily accessible pop-punk sound that sounds like a watered down Used b-sides with a bit of, dare I say it, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus thrown in. Lose It and No One Cares are radio friendly tunes that would fit on a Breaking Benjamin or Hurt record if they went a bit heavier. Can’t Happen Here is one of the few tracks that see the old intensity of the band as Alex Varkatzas takes nearly complete control of the song vocally and rips into his vocal chords with full force. They end it all off with a hidden cover of Faith No More‘s Epic which sounds like a cheesy rap/rock combination like Buckcherry with The Salads and it does not work at all.

When Two Are One sees the band trying to meld all the genres into one. Opening with a piano melody before breaking out with heavy metal drumming, the song is an eclectic combination of pop-punk, hardcore, metal, and rock. The band switches between hardcore, guttural screams and speedy, skate-punk vocals throughout the track, unfortunately, both styles are bogged down all too often by the interjection of more melodic vocals. It’s as if the band is trying to recreate the bi-polar feel of the album into one singular song.

The month leading up to the release may have been peppered with hype and promotions regarding the release, but Lead Sails Paper Anchor fails to live up to any of it and is, instead, a bland, forgettable, radio-friendly album by a band suffering from a serious identity crisis. Maybe their next record will see them settling on a style and rebuilding their sound around that.