Thursday, 29 January 2015

Review: Atari Teenage Riot – 'Reset'


Since the band's reactivation in 2010, Atari Teenage Riot have been fighting the corder of Digital Hardcore with all their might. The five years have flown by quickly leaving a studio album in 'Is This Hyperreal?' and a slew of singles in their wake. 2015 sees the trio embark on a new album cycle with 'Reset' which in addition to mainstays Alec Empire and Nic Endo includes new member Rowdy Superstar who fills the shoes of Carl Crack and CX Kidtronik before him.

The album features all of the ATR hallmarks – fist-in-the-air beats, a hard electronic undercurrent, heavy use of samples, and shout-a-long vocals. The band may throw in some modern synth sounds, dubstep and house influences, but even if you haven't picked up an ATR album since 'The Future Of War', 'Reset' will still seemingly tread familiar territory. Yet despite this, the band sound just as relevant as they always have. Its not surprising really though, the political lyrics, pro-hacker stance and cyberpunk world view are just as reflective of 2015 as they were in 1999.

Tracks like singles 'J1M1', 'Reset', and 'Modern Liars' along with the likes of 'Death Machine', 'New Blood', 'We Are From The Internet' provide an anthemic backbone of slogans set to infectious music. The band are just as ferocious in their attack on modern life as they have always been, and rest shows that they still have plenty to be angry about.

The production is again typical of the ATR sound. It's loud, noisy and despite its electronic core is decidedly punk-rock. But in the places where its called for they pull it back and give the songs the polish they need.

'Reset' goes to show that there is still a lot of life in Atari Teenage Riot yet. The album fits nicely in with their classic albums and their angst-ridden rebellious stance is just a relevant as ever. Musically and lyrically the album isn't a huge departure from the majority of their previous outings, so those expecting a radical departure will be disappointed. But that's missing the point. The saying goes that the more things change, the more they stay the same, and it's for that reason 'Reset' is a damn fine album.

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