Back in 2014, Watford 4-piece Lower Than Atlantis affirmed their position as one of the UK's hottest properties with their well-polished self-titled fourth album; "Lower Than Atlantis". Crammed full of melody, indie-pop hooks and emotive vocals, songs such as "English Kids In America", "Time" and "Stays The Same" appealed to fans of everyone from Young Guns to Deaf Havana, with their ability to suck you in with their quaint lyrical story telling and dance-along radio friendly rock tunes. Now, fast forward a year and we find ourselves with a re-released deluxe "Black Edition" of the Top 20 charting album. With a whole new album's worth of material on a bonus second disk...are they milking this for all its worth?
The bonus disk kicks off with the brand new track "Get Over It" and while, for the most part retaining LTA's trademark pop-infused indie sound, it's got an ever so slight edge to it, sounding somewhat meatier than the albums original material. It's bold and a decent, promising introduction. "The Reason", another new track, follows directly on and takes a different approach altogether, instead opting for a more, ballad inspired sound at its core. It presents itself as a happy little love song about realisation and salvation without managing to come across as overly soppy.
The interesting aspect of this bonus disk however, are the cover songs somewhat randomly on offer...first and foremost, and unexpectedly we have "Strong" by one Robbie Williams and honestly it really works. The song itself hasn't aged a day and is still as touching as it's ever been, but, freshly recorded with just an ever so slightly rockier twist here, it's a genuinely good cover. "Wish You Were Here" by Incubus again, stands the test of time in it's own right but covered absolutely flawlessly here, it's simplicity allowing all ears to focus on the emotional weight of the track.
Whether it's indulgence on the bands part, or they literally picked songs to cover out of a tombola, we can only speculate at, but the inclusion of "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" by Tears For Fears is another surprise recording and it's mellow qualities allow for a blissfully laid back listen, before we jump era's once more to "A Thousand Miles"; a piano led ballad by a lady by the name of Vanessa Carlton, really showcasing the bands tender side. Elsewhere the disk consists of alternate versions and Live Lounge covers from BBC Radio 1 and really, you're left wondering, despite the quality of the tracks here, was it really worth re-releasing the album for? The bonus disk here could have quite easily been released as an EP and a damn good one at that...to a degree they went overkill here and for one album it's a little much to take in. There really can be too much of a good thing. Lower Than Atlantis...probably lower in the charts as well because, there's honestly little point.