Last week I put together a “SUMMER SYNTH ’17” mixtape for a visiting Pleiadian dignitary, and I don’t lie when I tell you one of the first tracks I made sure to include was “Eastmost Peninsula”, the saxy, funky opening song on Georgia’s Atom Force‘s newest effort, 1988. It finds itself wedged comfortably between a short intro entitled “Mall Girls” (which itself leaves me wondering of its own audio origin) and the second track, which seems to be the album’s highlight for many, “Switchblade.” “Switchblade” opens with a few light, yawning synth notes that persist with constancy through the rest of the track, which is considerably more dance-able than the previous.
Once you’ve gotten this far into the record, it becomes clear that the album’s bright and upbeat art isn’t the only thing showing a shift in attitude somewhere in Atom Force’s intentions. It’s not as much a change in sound as it is a change in overall mood. The artist’s previous horror fanaticism and influences have virtually disappeared from the table, and have been replaced with a wink from behind a pair of aviators and an invitation to let your hair down and ride shotgun through the streets of Vice City. “Take Me Far Away” moves in heavily with a lower but once again dance-able beat. It’s significantly more intense than anything on the record so far, and “Race For Keeps” follows this trend. It’s one of those perfectly named moments that leaves you with the age-old question of “What came first- the track or the title?”. Very Initial D in thought.
The album closes with the neck-kissing cloud of synth waves “Being In Love”, which is a perfect decrescendo answer to my increased heart rate from the previous two tracks. The track is silky in essence and a well placed closing for the record.
1988 is a fairly bold move in a new direction from the more sinister facade of Atom Force, and a successful one at that. It’s a neat blend of nervous driving and hand-holding that leaves me looking forward to Atom Force’s next release, and hoping that release will follow the leadership of 1988.
Atom Force sent me a few Bandcamp download codes for the album, which I will start dropping soon! Pay attention to our social media to find out how (here’s our Facebook and Twitter). Make sure to also follow Atom Force on Facebook and Twitter!