Look What I Did - Atlas Drugged
Modernist Movement
Experimental Hardcore/Rock
12 songs (42:19)
Release year: 2010
Modernist Movement
Reviewed by Goat

From the birthplace of music itself, Nashville, Tennessee, Look What I Did take a hardcore base and throw a little pinch of more or less everything into the mix, making a song-based album that’s as challenging as it is catchy. The usual music journo response to this sort of band is to compare it ceaselessly to The Dillinger Escape Plan, since everybody knows that they are, of course, the only wacky Hardcore band ever, yet Atlas Drugged is closer to the likes of NoMeansNo if you ask me, more punk than ‘core, reliant on subverting traditional song structures than creating new ones. It’s also worth mentioning that LWID vocalist Barry Donegan sings far more often than he shrieks, making for a distinctly Pop-flavoured album that never sounds less than experimental, and thankfully avoids ‘core clichés by neither making breee noises nor wearing girl pants, as their MySpace page notes. As you may have guessed from the Rand-referencing title, he’s also a libertarian-leaning politician, standing for local council and writing the sort of complex and brainy lyrics that exercise your head as well as your neck – but it says a lot for this band that their music is good enough to make that only a side concern.

As ever, songwriting is key, and the songwriting here is gloriously varied. Opener Six Flags Over Jesus starts in a melodious pop-punky style, Donegan putting those clean vocals to good use, and interjecting with more metallic, erm, Dillinger Escape Plan-y jagged riffs and frantic yelps. Fade To Daft follows, quirky melodic and meandering riffs beneath a cheerful chorus, and Jekyll Island Fiat Scratch ups the oddness even more. Holding Pattern is a shock, relying nearly completely on electronic backing until the instruments come in towards the end, whilst I’m Majoring In Psychology never takes its foot off the nutty pedal. I suppose some latter-day Faith No More comparisons are warranted, but there’s a good deal of Melvins/Big Business in there too with the clean singing and catchiness. The band’s strengths especially include the ability to fit all these songs together and make an album that flows well, despite frequent stylistic upsets like Serf Song, which is like some nightmarish alternate reality where Sonic Youth are fronted by Mike Patton and play twistedly upbeat pop-punk, and closing six-minuter Baby Darwins which is more psychedelic dream-pop than anything else.

Anyone with tastes that lean towards the System Of A Down end of hardcore will find much to appreciate here, yet the whole punky style is endlessly enjoyable – Look What I Did’s strengths lie in their approachable songwriting, having the experimental strengths of so-called spazzcore with none of the unlistenability, and as a result Atlas Drugged is a great album that will survive many plays.

Killing Songs :
Six Flags Over Jesus, Fade To Daft, Holding Pattern, Serf Song, Shit $, Baby Darwins
Goat quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Look What I Did that we have reviewed:
Look What I Did - Minuteman For The Moment reviewed by Aaron and quoted 76 / 100
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