13 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Where Boston’s the Real Kids approached power pop with a ramshackle attack steeped in ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll, the more musically disciplined Atlantics were less enamored with Beantown’s underground as these highly produced recordings suggest. Tracked between 1979 and 1982, Atlantics reveals a clean-coiffed and airtight guitar-pop quintet aspiring to the commercial success of the Cars, which they never came close to achieving (resulting in their 1983 break-up). “Back In the World” is a near-perfect gem on par with bands like the Records and Shoes. The bass-heavy single “Lonely Hearts” is another hit that never happened. With its sharp angularity and herky-jerky vocals, the song sounds like Lindsay Buckingham had he taken the Rickenbacker and skinny necktie route to pop music. As songs like “Perfect Stranger” and “Believe In Love” unsuccessfully imported post-punk’s complex arrangements, the Velcro-catchy “Pop Shivers” and a thoroughly enjoyable cover of Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll Parts I and II” kept things sounding fun, simple and sugar sweet.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Where Boston’s the Real Kids approached power pop with a ramshackle attack steeped in ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll, the more musically disciplined Atlantics were less enamored with Beantown’s underground as these highly produced recordings suggest. Tracked between 1979 and 1982, Atlantics reveals a clean-coiffed and airtight guitar-pop quintet aspiring to the commercial success of the Cars, which they never came close to achieving (resulting in their 1983 break-up). “Back In the World” is a near-perfect gem on par with bands like the Records and Shoes. The bass-heavy single “Lonely Hearts” is another hit that never happened. With its sharp angularity and herky-jerky vocals, the song sounds like Lindsay Buckingham had he taken the Rickenbacker and skinny necktie route to pop music. As songs like “Perfect Stranger” and “Believe In Love” unsuccessfully imported post-punk’s complex arrangements, the Velcro-catchy “Pop Shivers” and a thoroughly enjoyable cover of Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll Parts I and II” kept things sounding fun, simple and sugar sweet.

TITLE TIME
3:18
3:29
4:22
4:30
3:30
4:35
3:17
3:39
4:31
3:30
5:27
2:47
3:40

About The Atlantics

One of the greatest instrumental surf groups did not even hail from America. The Atlantics, despite their name, were an Australian combo who not only emulated the sound of California surf music, but ranked among its very best practitioners. Featuring a reverb-heavy, extremely "wet" sound, the Atlantics attacked original material, standards, and movie themes with a nervy blend of precision and over-the-top intensity. As in Dick Dale's music, touches of Middle Eastern influences can be detected in the rhythms of melodies (some members of the group claimed Greek and Egyptian heritage). Their second single, "Bombora," went to the top of the Australian charts in 1963, and the follow-up, "The Crusher," was also a big hit. But Beatlemania spelled commercial death for the Atlantics, as it did for U.S. surf combos, in 1964 and 1965. After several albums and a few more equally fine instrumental singles, the Atlantics became a vocal group in the last half of the '60s, but are most renowned for their instrumental recordings. ~ Richie Unterberger

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