Atlas Park – Preview of Coming Distractions

Atlas Park hail from Northern California and offer up an intoxicating brew of modern rock inspired gems. Formed by Daniel Gatling in 2014, the band has quickly developed a following. Emotive vocals and hummable melodies, what I love about the band is how they tap into that rare part of the brain that makes something feel familiar yet new all at once. Gatling handles vocals & guitar and is joined by John Kahling on drums, John Spomer on bass & synths, and Kat Cahill on lead guitar. Preview of Coming Distractions is the band’s debut EP, and though it has been out for a while, it is new to me. It serves as a taster for upcoming new material.

The album gets off on the right foot with Myths – a stunning slice of emotional yearning held down by a pulsating bass line & jagged guitar riffs. Gatling seems to be channeling early Win Butler with his vocal delivery and that is only a good thing in my opinion. Lyrically, it walks a questioning line. “They are, they are the myths / What walked this world before / In the poems and the annals of your folklore”. Everything in Between references The White Album by The Beatles (do I really need to say who the band is?) in its opening lyrics which is always a good way to peak my interest. A mid tempo slow burn of a song, it is a another winner. “”Happiness is a Warm Gun”, you said / Then you lay on a New York City sidewalk and bled / The irony wasn’t lost on the broken-hearted”. Vice Vicarious is the single and it is easy to see why – a hook laden modern rock gem with a nod to television & film cult classics. The Light That Burns Twice As Bright is honestly my favorite song on the record. Saving the best for last? An orchestral mostly acoustic lament, it allows Gatling’s vocal abilities to shine through. As the drums linger in the final seconds it reminded me just a bit of Joy Division. “All that’s left are unsaid / Dirty thoughts and last words
You’ll come back one day / Although it hurts and God how it hurts”.

Absolutely a band worth checking out – you can pick up the album at all digital outlets and check out the band’s page here. I can’t wait to hear what the band comes up with for the follow-up.

Verdict: modern rock masterpiece

For Fans of: Arcade Fire, The Smiths, John Lennon, Talking Heads, The Cars, Modern Lovers


  1. Myths
  2. Everything Inbetween
  3. It’s Nothing
  4. No Means
  5. From the Ashes
  6. Vice Vicarious
  7. The Light That Burns Twice As Bright

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