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Stand Atlantic - 'Skinny Dipping' Album Review


1. Lavender Bones

2. Bullfrog

3. Skinny Dipping

4. Speak Slow

5. Cigarette Kiss

6. Lost My Cool

7. Toothpick

8. Burn In The Afterthought

9. Clay

10. Roses

When I first heard ‘Lavender Bones,’ I started bugging the editor here at 3 Songs & Out immediately that I wanted to review this album as soon as it became available. It was one of those moments where you hear a song and immediately want to run out in the street and start telling strangers to listen to this song. Stand Atlantic are a trio from Sydney, Australia who have the potential to be the biggest band Hopeless Records have ever had on their roster. Following up their wonderful ‘Sidewinder’ EP which has helped me bide the time waiting for this album, Stand Atlantic have put together an album that sounds 100% genuine from their hearts and souls while also having an abundance of elements that should draw the mainstream to them. Bonnie Fraser will find herself a legion of followers with her attitude, voice, guitar, and awesome lyrics.

I am not sure if anyone else ever experiences this, but, when the first song you have heard by a band is the first song on the album, there is some thought that they have obviously put their best song right at the beginning and everything else will be a lesser version of that song. Stand Atlantic provide you nothing to worry about as ‘Lavender Bones’ is simply the first great song on a great album. ‘Lavender Bones’ opens with some nice open guitar by Fraser who then delivers a killer verse. Jonno Panichi does great work on the drums creating a beat that is given more oomph by David Potter on bass. This song about empowering yourself never fails to put a smile on my face with a chorus that oozes melody and should be blasting out of speakers everywhere at maximum volume. I have lost count of how many times I have sung this song’s chorus randomly in my head since I first heard it. The guitar riff that floats under the chorus is awesome as well. Following up that opener was never going to be easy, ‘Bullfrog’ starts with the chorus acapella style before a nice guitar riff and pretty standard Pop Punk verse greet us which gives way back to the chorus. The more I play this song, the more this chorus reminds me of something from the early 80’s like ‘Mickey’ by Toni Basil. The bridge slows everything down for a moment before closing it down with another chorus.

Electronic beats and some modified vocals introduce us to the title track which again showcases Fraser’s vocals. The chorus is huge and made for singing. The midtempo beat by Panichi fits the song perfectly. My favorite part of this one has to be the bridge where the urgency increases. ‘Speak Slow’ ups the tempo again with the hard hitting song not quite reaching the same level as the earlier songs, but I suspect this one might be the slow grower on the album. ‘Cigarette Kiss’ slows everything down for the first verse to make you think we have reached the ballad before the release of the adrenaline shows all three members go for a sprint. It all slows back down momentarily before the end; I could definitely see this being a single in the future.

New single ‘Lost My Cool’ opens up the second half of the album in fine form. Fraser’s vocals convey a ton of attitude and emotion throughout this album. I love the way the chorus flows here and how it gets bigger throughout the song. Potter really gets to shine here with his bass sounding huge in the mix on the verses. The interestingly named ‘Toothpick’ finds Fraser singing softly over some gentle electric guitars. This song will eventually be played by the band in arenas and stadiums to crowds singing the words for Fraser. I am so glad they kept this as a showcase for Fraser when her voice grows at the end it feels both fragile and strong. ‘Burn In The Afterthought’ turns back up the Pop Punk a bit to create a mesmerizing piece of brilliance that isn’t a million miles away from the likes of the Ataris. The huge final chorus will get those previously mentioned stadiums full of people hopping and dancing.

‘Clay’ showcases another facet of the band with another spice or two added to their Pop Punk. Despite the acoustic type open with the loud drums, this turns into a full power rocker with some great drum work by Panichi. All too soon we arrive at final track ‘Roses’ which settles into a pretty standard tempo but sees the band pulling in some huge background vocals. The inflections in Fraser’s voice touch the heart, and I love the guitar work here by her. The obvious star that people will initially gravitate to is Fraser, but she could not do this without her two other band mates who will find their own stature grow in time, perhaps along the lines of Green Day where all members are recognized as integral to the band.

This feels like the right album by the right band at the right time on the right label. ‘Skinning Dipping’ is a debut album that is setting the stage for them incredibly well. It is full of quality songs that will become fixtures in their live set for years to come. Get with Stand Atlantic now as they will be one of those bands that the mainstream gets right.

‘Skinny Dipping’ is released October 26th.

Review - Gerald Stansbury

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