Alternative band Atlas Genius hail from Australia. Atlas Genius release their debut effort, 2013's When It Was Now via major label Warner Bros Records. Distinguished by various music styles including indie-electronic and indie-rock, the band shares some similarities to the Killers in sound, particularly given overt 80s/New wave cues. Atlas Genius is comprised of brothers Keith (vocals/guitar), Steven (bass) and Michael Jeffery (drums) in addition to Darren Sell (keyboards). Led by catchy single "Trojans", When It Was Now proves to be both a fine debut effort and promising start to the band's musical career.
"Electric" stars things off well, establishing an indie-electro groove that sets the tone. Energetic, frontman Keith's vocals are commanding, sitting atop the production work. Bright chordal synths adorn the catchy chorus. "If So" is even stronger, sporting a simple, catchy chorus ("If so, if so / we know we'll be coming...") as well as overall solid songwriting. Moments such as "...don't be talking maybe your mama's flying high as a kite" stick with the listener. "Back Seat" is risqué but in alt-rock fashion sans the profane. There a plenty of minimalist touches about the production, not to mention the full, big bass line.
"Trojans" is the crowning achievement, possessing a driving pop-rock groove laden with hi-hat. Keith Jeffery delivers a vocal with a desirable rasp, capped off by the addictive chorus: "Your trojan's in my head..." The typical pop cue of chordal piano closes the standout as exceptionally as it began. "Through the Glass" has a tough act to follow, but keeps the momentum going strong. Yielding an indie-folk/pop sound, "Through The Glass" provides When It Was Now another brilliant moment. Well structured in form (verse, abbreviated chorus, verse, full chorus, etc.), the musicianship shines. "On A Day" proceeds capably, blending new wave and pop sensibilities. It fails to rival the excellence of "Trojans" or "Through The Glass", but is by no means merely average or bad.
"Centered On You" and "Don't Make A Scene" showcase Keith Jeffery's falsetto, something not showcased on previous cuts. Neither cut give the best a run, but also aren't 'deal breakers'. "All These Girls" is better, in which Keith sings "All these girls are not the same / all these girls are not the same as you." The theme is simple and perhaps innocent, but latches. Similarly, title track "When It Was Now" delivers another exceptional number characterized by driving rhythm, excellent vocal production and overall production. "Symptoms" closes strongly.
All in all, Atlas Genius deliver the 'goods' on When It Was Now. Creative and well produced, there are no outright misses or unforgivable missteps. For those who love indie-pop/rock and music that borrows 80s cues, Atlas Genius is the band for you. Enthusiastically recommended - 4 stars.