Anywhere But Here

The Ataris

Kung Fu Records, 1997

REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson


I remember the day I picked up the initial release version of this CD in 1997. I was writing for the now-extinct ICON in Iowa City. My editor had put a tiny sticky note on the CD that tainted my initial impression of this release. That tainting has pursued me as this band has gone on to release other CDs. Therefore, I'm reviewing this release, but not giving you my opinion.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The story of the Ataris is a kid in Anderson, Indiana, wants to make it big. He gets a demo in the hands of a Vandals' roadie, who passes it on the band. The band is invited out to California to record this release in less than a week. The original version showcased an emotional lyricist in Kris Roe, who also sings and plays guitar.

"Bite My Tongue" was my first introduction to the band. Guitar riff catches my attention and this release is off to a good start. Drummer Derrick Plourde and bassist Marko 72 lock in for a solid foundation while 2nd guitarist/vocalist Jasin Thomason chimes in appropriately

There are many good moments on this release, but as much as I want to tell you about them, I'd rot in hell for ruining your first impression of this band.

I will say that, per the liner notes, the songs on the re-issue are closer to the way the band thought they should be. "Four Chord Wonder" is now followed by "Hey Kid." The lyrics of "Four Chord Wonder" have stuck with me over the years. I appreciate it when a band realizes, "You know what? This song I just wrote . . . other bands have played similar songs. I'm not all that original." Roe sings, "How many bands have wrote this song before/ I can name at least fifty, I bet you could name a hundred more." And granted, even as a drummer, I recognize the chords as being very familiar to my ears.

"Angry Nerd Rock" is probably my favorite Ataris song of all time. I like the lyrics and the laid-back approach to the song, even though the lyrics are very confrontational: "I'm sick of being caught up in yesterday/ Everyday it's still the same/ Different faces, different names/ But I'm still stuck here playing these stupid games."

In all, this re-release is a good excuse to go out and update your copy of the original or if you never bought this release, you should.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


© 2002 Paul Hanson and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Kung Fu Records, and is used for informational purposes only.