March 13, 2003

Test Spin: The Ataris

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The Ataris’ major label debut, So Long, Astoria, is a solid pop-punk album by a solid band. Although pop-punk has received a lot of criticism because of groups like Good Charlotte, The Ataris have always been able to bring sincerity into the mix, setting them apart from their peers. This is the major selling point of the band — their honesty.

So Long, Astoria is packed with the usual simple-yet-catchy riffs for which The Ataris are known best. They haven’t changed much of their sound or style since they’ve stepped into the mainstream: themes of relationship stress, growing up, and ’80s nostalgia still litter the record.

Notable tracks include “So Long, Astoria,” “In This Diary,” and “Eight of Nine.” But, like all of The Ataris’ albums, there aren’t any boring songs. They simply can’t write tunes that aren’t good.

It’s a bit disappointing to see a band that wrote a song called “The Radio Still Sucks” sign to a major label. However, as they say goodbye to Kung Fu Records forever, one can’t help but wish them the best of luck and hope they don’t follow the same path that Blink-182 took after their mainstream success.

Archived article by Ratheet Pandya