steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The Atari Star

"Dispelling the Myth of Accurate Maps" CDEP

Johann's Face Records

Genres: indie pop, indie rock

Johann's Face
PO Box 479164
Chicago IL 60647

May 12 - 18 2003

A year after the release of the poppy, keyboard-heavy And Other Smaller, And Brighter Worlds album, The Atari Star have bounced back onto the scene with a new EP featuring six all new pop numbers!  And - guess what, Yamaha lovers? - the first noticeable characteristic about Dispelling the Myth of Accurate Maps is that the band's signature keyboards are kept to quite a minimum.  Aiyah!  Instead, they take a more guitar-based approach to the instrumentation, with piano also present to add a sense of grandeur to the mix.

"Death of the Family Name" is the first song on this CD.  It's a pretty catchy, familiar pop song with a slightly sad sound.  "For a Lifetime of Service" continues this trend with a lot of chiming guitars and a slight Sparklehorse resemblance.  "And What About Ambition?" then comes on with a more energetic, yet still downbeat feel; it's an impassioned instrumental heavy in guitar solos and good drumming.

The second half of the EP continues in the same vein as the first.  The title-track is a depressed, cartographical pop tune, "Tinfoil + Twine" is an emotional bit of indie rock, and the closing epic, "Ursine," is a delicate, moody song that sounds as if it will bring on the apocalypse.

Altogether, this is a very nice EP.  Some of The Atari Star's melodies aren't as catchy as they perhaps should be, but on the majority they've got a really great sound.  Much more sorrowful than their last album, the Dispelling the Myth of Accurate Maps EP hints at a whole new direction for the band - and I like where they're heading.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 6 songs, distributed by Mordam, released 2003]