Ontario, Canada has turned into a breeding ground for some of the best melodic hardcore bands in the recent years. Take a look at Counterparts, Lifeboat, and now Atlas (featuring members of the now inactive 'Centuries Apart'). There must be something in the air that gives them the perfect formula to this genre that others just can not duplicate.
When I first saw the bland grayscale album art for a band named "Atlas", I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting too much. If a lesson could be applied to this EP, I would say that you should not judge a book by it's cover. While it lacks a fancy exterior, the music is quite the opposite. A great comparison to this band is Counterparts. On my first listen to "Ongoing Rescue" the lyrics and melodies really stood out to me. In the first song titled "Better Days" the first lyrics that are belted out are "You are the reason I have become so negative." At once I could feel the emotion behind these lyrics and was strongly impressed.
Of course lyrics aren't the sole definition of great music. The instrumentation that accompanies the music more than blew me away. The lead melodies captivated me while the drum work had me sucked me into Atlas' world. Few bands can achieve such an effect on me.
While this EP is excellent, it is not perfect. One thing that really bothered me was that there is not much variety to the vocals. Atlas solved this problem with some stand out moments coming from guest vocals in two tracks. One other thing that this album could have lost are the clean vocals. While I give applause to the person who delivered them, they delivered them to the wrong house. The singing just does not fit in with the rest of the music.
Atlas' "Ongoing Rescue" will be getting more than a few plays from me and I suggest that you give this a shot. All of the songs are worthy of praise and I can't pick any single "stand out" track. The outstanding lyrics are truly what brings this EP to life.