CD Review of The Freezing Atlantic by Aberdeen City

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The Freezing Atlantic
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Aberdeen City is the best British rock band ever to come out of Boston, Massachusetts. Don’t dismiss their decidedly British-style as an imitation to the real thing though, although they are reminiscent of early U2 and Radiohead, that’s only because they have the potential to be that good.

We have heard this before, of course. Coldplay was supposed to be the next U2, and some people still consider them to be. But their increasing pussification has alienated as many fans as they’ve brought in, and to many it only seems to be a matter of time before they become a 21st century version of Air Supply. And then there was Radiohead, who was supposed to be the biggest thing since the thing that sliced bread, and while they are still one of the best bands in the world, their continuing experimentation with abstract loops and God knows what else has pretty much insured they will never have the massive mainstream appeal that they came so close to grabbing with OK Computer. Starsailor, Razorlight and Keane were all supposed to pick up the torch as well, but none of them have managed to be consistent or popular enough to do so quite yet.

The UK can’t seem to give the world a glorious pop band to enjoy, so maybe all the eyes that are focused on them should be focused to the other side of the Atlantic, more precisely, maybe they should all be paying attention to Aberdeen City’s powerhouse debut, The Freezing Atlantic.

One of the most powerful debuts of the year, it nearly blows its load right off the bat, beginning with the fiercely beautiful “Another Seven Years” Although the “best song (legendary rock band) never recorded” cliché is as worn out and tired as most legendary rock bands, “Another Seven Years” actually does sound like something U2 might have recorded if they formed in 2006. The only fault with this song is that it is so good that it almost hurts every track that follows it.

While the majority of The Freezing Atlantic is filled with depressing songs about love and regret, they’re all amazingly well-written, depressing songs about love and regret, so it’s okay. “Pretty Pet” wallows in its own self-pity and depression while seemingly mocking it at the same time with the repeating chorus of “Sometimes regret makes a great pet.”

The album’s centerpiece is without a doubt the sprawling and stunning “God Is Going to Get Sick of Me.” With such a loathing and depression title like that, you almost expect it sounds like some sort of joke, or perhaps a song that a black eyeliner emo-boy might play to Hot Topic residents. However, it’s actually a scathing attack at religious fundamentals that “break our legs to prove a point.” Ben Parker’s gut-spilling delivery, along with some tonal keyboard notes, pounding drum and bass lines, and a simple yet immediately catchy guitar riff combine to create a nearly perfect song.

A lot of Aberdeen City’s success must be credited to Parker and the amazing pipes he’s packing. Unlike other British-influenced bands making the rounds right now that sing in false voices and sometimes even false accents (She Wants Revenge, I’m looking at you) Parker’s decidedly American voice is probably one of the reasons why Aberdeen City sounds so unique. American bands don’t sound like this. While Parker may remind some of Thom Yorke, the band’s commitment to pounding beats and explosive choruses should ensure that no one will be mistaking them for Thom and the gang anytime soon.

Sounding like Coldplay with a pulse, or much more mentally-stable Radiohead, Aberdeen City is a breath of fresh air in the otherwise septic-stained atmosphere of modern rock music. If you wanted to like the Killers but thought they were too polished, or were turned on by Editors but couldn’t get past their more than passing devotion to Joy Division, then this just might be the band for you.

~James B. Eldred