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Welcome the Night
Author: The Ataris
Label: Sanctuary Records
URL: www.myspace.com/theataris
Tracks: 2 Discs: Disc 1: 52:26 Disc 2: 3:12
 
It’s been a long past few years for The Ataris. Since the release of their masterpiece, So Long Astoria in 2003, they’ve rubbed edges with Columbia Records, which they terminated their contract with in 2006, and had various internal issues with rumors circulating that they were going to break up. However, finally here in 2007, their new album Welcome the Night has been released!
 
This album opens with the first single “Not Capable of Love” which begins with some very catchy synthesizer rumblings that you’ve never heard from the Ataris before. This song finds the protagonist longing for the kind of love he felt when he was 21 years old, and believing that he will never find it again. 
 
“New Years Day” features some great lyrics about redemption and forgiveness and ‘searching for a savior’ during the singers College years. This is a theme the re-emerges many times throughout this project. 
 
“Secret Handshakes” is the first musically standout moment on the album! It’s on this song that we get a heaping helping of guitar layering that continues all throughout the album. Think of Starflyer 59 at their best, or anything off of the new Brand New record. 
 
“The Cheyenne Line” sounds more like the Ataris we heard on “So Long, Astoria.” power chords and Kris Roe’s whiny voice. 
 
One drawback to this project is that it does drag a little, especially in the middle. Some of the songs sound very similar to each other. 
 
However, by track ten, Kris Roe and company launch into an incredible concluding set of songs, beginning with the lyrically beautiful ode to teenage long lost love in “When All Else Fails It Fails”:   
You'll be forever an angel,
In a sundress blowing in the sweet September wind.
At least that's how I choose to remember,
And in my heart you'll never love again
This is one of my favorite songs on the album. It combines very nice electric guitar picking distortion with driving rhythm guitar and drums.  
“A Soundtrack For This Rainy Morning” calls to mind indie act The Umbrellas because it features some very well placed piano and synthesizer sounds, and Roe letting his voice go up into the falsetto range. Probably this song alone sounds the least like the Ataris we’ve known for many years. 
 
“Begin Again From The Beginning” brings back the recurring theme of redemption again by talking about new begins and being broken down and needing to be given a second chance. 

“Act V, Scene IV, And So It Ends Like It Begins” closes off the album with a near six minute driving rock and roll song that changes tempo a couple of times to add to it’s flavor. 
 
There is also a limited edition bonus disc that came with my copy of the CD that contains a single bonus track entitled “The Ghost of Last December” that is a fine bonus track that begs the listener to ‘hold on’ in life and look forward to a better future. It features a fine shimmery guitar solo that calls to mind mid-'90’s bands like Third Eye Blind. 
 
Overall this is a solid comeback effort from the Ataris. It isn’t So Long, Astoria which for this critic is the all time greatest Ataris album, but if you enjoy modern rock with some '80’s influence, you won’t go wrong here. 
 
James Morovich   3/4/2007

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
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