Well, this record is an absolute cracker.
I’ve got to say, I genuinely love it when a band comes out of left field and surprises me by delivering a stone-cold banger of a record. I had never heard of Across The Atlantic previously, and in flicking through the associated promotional material which landed in our inboxes here at TPA Towers, I had assumed that this was just another pop/metalcore band trying to ply their trade.
How wrong I was. On listening through to the complete Works In Progress, there’s way more to the album than just poppy metalcore. That does feature, but in the same way it features in A Day To Remember’s records. What there is also here, is ample helpings of some very, very good pop-punk (also in a similar vein to ADTR): all of which basically adds up to a really bloody catchy record.
One of the most impressive things about this album are the choruses. Across the piece, they’re exceptional. There’s so much melody and polished aggression here that you’d feel that Across The Atlantic have been around for quite some time. That’s not the case, which makes this even more impressive. I defy anyone to keep still to Sundress Funeral, 24 Hours or Starting Over: there’s just so much bounce, and some of the strongest hooks I’ve heard in the past year here.
The album opens with a piano-led introduction in Prelude, which builds with some guitar strokes and some nice double-drum beats before the vocals and riffs kick in. What the minute-long effort made me realise acutely is that I’m a real sucker for a good album intro…and this is one of those.
It does flow nicely into Playing For Keeps as well, which has an almost hollow sound to it’s crashing waves of riffage. There’s that choppiness I’m so keen on in abundance here, as well as some excellent hardcore-esque screamed backing vocal. Jay Martinez’ vocal is displayed perfectly in this track, with the chorus here being the first shining example of just what the band can do. There’s also a good amount of variation of pace and style across the song, all of which is brought together by that exceptionally polished chorus.
I’m a big fan of the building style that characterises Sundress Funeral, too. It starts off so gorgeously slowly before exploding into a searingly quick verse; before then dropping back into a gradual build in the style of early ADTR or TSSF. The pre-chorus also certainly adds depth to the song, while also showing the vocal range the band have; before the marching-style chorus itself drops. There’s some strong drumming here from Jayy Garza, too.
As earlier mentioned, 24 Hours is another banger. There’s further evidence of the vocal range of Martinez here, as the song opens with a really gruff vocal before dropping into primarily hardcore, screamed vocal, with the matching pace from the drums. Chorus-wise, though, it’s another hugely memorable one which’ll stick in your head for hours after, again feeling like Homesick-era ADTR with the mix of pop-punk and hardcore vocal.
Another good thing about Works Of Progress is that there’s very little filler. It’s not an album which gets weaker as it goes on: indeed, you could start at the end and work your way through the record and you wouldn’t really know. Word Of Mouth is a pretty savage effort, making your ears bleed through the verse, before a more soaring and melodic chorus soothes those sore eardrums. Self(less) has a delightfully complex call-and-response style drumming line, with the guitar and vocal hanging over it perfectly, backed up by some brilliant gang vocal and a crashy, energetic chorus.
I really, really enjoyed this album, and I’ve returned to it a good number of times. It’s one that would genuinely fit well into any ADTR fan’s collection, and has more than enough itself to warrant an independent listen. It’s fun, catchy as hell, and super polished. Plenty to like here.