The Ataris

The Ataris

End Is Forever

Kung Fu

OK, OK, I know they’re wildly popular. And there’s nothing much to dislike here. The playing, singing, and production are perfect. Too perfect, in fact. That’s what I don’t like about The Ataris — they’re too bright and shiny. And smooth. This pop-punk and emo hybrid that’s the flavor of the month lately leaves me unsatisfied in ways that the two genres on which it was based, standing alone, never did. To a certain extent this sounds illogical, but music and a listener’s reaction thereto aren’t always logical. By marrying emo lyrics to pop punk music, I lose the sense of fun I got from pop punk (come on, songs about “broken hearts” and “giving up on love” can’t compare funwise to songs about punk rock girls and the other things you love, or songs with a sense of humor to them) and conversely, the chirpy melodies and perfect harmonies undercut the emotional impact of all those broken hearts. One of the songs that works best here is “Song For a Mix Tape,” which actually has some country-blues guitar lines to offset the pop-punk progressions, and that supports my premise that emo-pop-punk is an unsatisfying mix.

No, I don’t hate The Ataris. But I don’t love them either. I hope they won’t be too heartbroken.

Kung Fu Records, 920 N. Citrus Ave., Hollywood, CA 90038; http://www.ataris.com

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