The Photo Atlas

Hailing from Denver, The Photo Atlas sputter and jerk with convulsive rhythms, dancing over jagged guitars and frontman Alan Andrews' nervy, falsetto squeal. Though the formula may not be the most original, the execution on the quartet's debut LP, No, Not Me, Never, is so terrific, and the hooks dig in so deep, you're almost willing to spare them the Hot Hot Heat/Bloc Party comparisons. What's particularly cool are the hints of tightly wound math rock in the anxious roar, as on "Handshake Heart Attack," and the high quotient of low-level background squall that suggests they know about The Fall. Were there any justice in the world — or brain activity in radio — they'd be this summer's buzz band, but as it is, they've yet to even rate a mention in Pitchfork (eye roll). That doesn't prevent you from being hip to their jittery delights. There are no fewer than five stellar tracks on the disc, including the simmering dance-floor spasm "Broadcasting Feedback" and the disjointed jangle of "Light and Noise," which nearly aspires to noise pop.


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