Stand Atlantic, f.e.a.r.
Stand Atlantic continue their reign of euphoria over the world of pop-punk with f.e.a.r. – if Pink Elephant was the album that proved they were Best In Class, f.e.a.r. is the one that proves they’re not standing still, and they’re coursing towards world domination. With a healthy slew of features, bangers aplenty, and a lot leaning heavier than ever before, f.e.a.r. (otherwise titled Fuck Everything And Run) is the sound of Stand Atlantic getting rowdier, and it sounds good.
Pink Elephant, of course, was denied its live run when it came out mid-COVID, but Stand Atlantic more than made up for lost time with their post-Christmas whirlwind whip-round. As far as their relentlessly growing fanbase is concerned, the dust will never settle on the elated singalong potential of Pink Elephant faves – but even more telling is the buzz with which singles from f.e.a.r. were received. The choices Stand Atlantic made to tease their third effort were nothing short of stellar: deathwish, hair out, pity party… a massive run of pithy, frustrated doses of catharsis. And as for molotov [ok], which is every bit as incendiary as its name suggests… that went down hard enough to warrant being StAt’s set closer on their recent run, to a ferocious response.
It certainly seems that writing f.e.a.r., Stand Atlantic may have had their live shows in mind, be it through missing them or just being hyperaware of their rising-star-turned-supernova status in the pop-punk scene. They won’t be playing small venues again, but beyond that, moments on f.e.a.r. feel more than ready for arena-level production – opener doomsday kicks the album off with a punchy, pyrotechnic beginning, the riffs tinged with an electro sheen that sends it stratospheric. Even on songs that are pushing Stand Atlantic’s sound to different areas, like late slow-burner XO’s dark-toned verses, have a magnitude to them that’s a distinct step up for the band. And it suits them.
Though they’re driving upwards fast, Stand Atlantic feel far from distant. The sharper production, the grittier, gloomier edge of their switchblade pressed against f.e.a.r.’s throat, the venomous lyrics and Bonnie Fraser’s fervent delivery… The StAt personality still saturates the record, buried a little deeper beneath their technical best yet, but very, very present. Nowhere is this epitomised better than the final run of three – cabin fever (ft. my literal mum), molotov [OK], and… I wonder what kind of garlic bread they eat at MENSA. cabin fever just about rivals molotov [OK] for most intense number on the record, a frenetic riot backed up on occasion by a keening string section and piercing emotion. Then there’s the aforementioned riot of molotov [OK]. And then, to wrap up the record, there’s forty seconds of the band teasing each other and chatting away in the recording booth. It’s at odds with the rest of the record, but it’s impossible not to smile.
Though there are obvious standouts, the rest of the album is about as non-filler as you can get. For all the tracks that push things a bit further for Stand Atlantic, there’s a cut of them doing what they do, the best they’ve ever done. van gogh is a pacey instant classic, bloodclot is a moody, nostalgic, almost-chill-for-a-second tune that wouldnt’ feel out of place on Skinny Dipping… Stand Atlantic are doing new stuff on f.e.a.r., but they can’t help but remind us they’re just great on every level too.
f.e.a.r. is out now.