Release Date: May 6, 2022
Genre: Pop Punk, Pop Rock Label: Hopeless Records The Sydney, Australia-based pop-punk quartet Stand Atlantic -made up of vocalist and guitarist Bonnie Fraser, guitarist David Potter, bassist Miki Rich, and drummer Jonno Panichi- are back again after the successes of their previous two albums, Skinny Dipping (2018) and Pink Elephant (2020). Their brand new and third studio album, F.E.A.R, which is an abbreviation for "Fuck Everything And Run," the band upped the ante by offering up a raw and unconventional album that left all expectations at the door when they wrote and recorded the album throughout the pandemic. F.E.A.R is dubbed by the band as an anti-concept album and a giant middle finger to the starry Hollywood-style nonsense stories bands occasionally conjure up. F.E.A.R was once again produced by their frequent collaborator and music producer Stevie Knight (Yours Truly, Between You & Me, Waxflower). F.E.A.R opens strong with the synthy and electronic-infused pop-punk number, "doomsday." The song is unapologetically Stand Atlantic but with absolutely nothing holding them back to experimenting with sounds that wouldn't necessarily fit what you'd expect from them. It's just a little taste of what is yet to be introduced into their sound on F.E.A.R. "doomsday" is an insanely catchy tune and tackles Fraser's absolutely chaotic psyche was going through during the time of the song's writing and chronicles her journey of a "very unromantic existence." The album's second track, "pity party," swerves back into the lane of what you'd normally expect from the pop-punk band. It's a straight-up pop-punk piece right out of the gate -and it features indie-pop/electropop artist Royal & The Serpent. The song offers little sprinklings of pop influences as the track continues. "pity party" is about cutting out people in your life that drag you down and not realizing until you let them go what kind of hold that may have had on you.
On yet another Stand Atlantic classic, "hair out," the track really goes through it all. At the core, it's pop-punk, but it's got some poppier elements mixed into it, and instrumentally, it's very heavy, especially with those chuggy guitar riffs heard throughout. "deathwish" is one of the songs that started the band to think outside the box for such a diverse album, and once the fans got behind them experimented the band knew the possibilities were endless. "deathwish" blends pop-punk and hip-hop elements with a collaboration with emo-rap artist nothing,nowhere. Originally, the song's rapping part of the track was meant to be performed by Potter, but Stand Atlantic decided to call in the help of a friend who has expertise in the genre instead. "switchblade" sees the band dust off the synth lines, sticks close to the hip-hop sound heard on the previous track, but featuring down-tuned, heavy guitars that elevate the track to new heights. Continuing to blister through hit after hit, "blood clot" sees Stand Atlantic tap into some of their influence from Blink-182. Whereas the band digs into their pop-punk roots for "don't talk [to me]," a song that sonically could perfectly fit on any of their previous releases. The quartet once more pulls out this newfound deep bass synths, but this time it's as wobbly as it can get on the intrinsic track, "xo." As "xo" continues, the song turns into one of the slower tracks within its fourteen songs and eventually takes a new life as it furthers to its climax. Before it reaches the end, "xo" takes a very sharp turn with a crazy breakdown. "cabin fever" takes the band straight to all new territory for one of the most striking and maybe even one of the most shocking tracks on F.E.A.R. Additionally, the track also features Fraser's actual mother. "cabin fever" begins as a full-blown hip-hop-infused number and progresses into one of the album's heaviest songs on the album. The breakdown of "cabin fever" even has Fraser screaming behind heavy post-hardcore-esque instrumentals. It's truly unlike anything else on the entire record. F.E.A.R closes out with "molotov [OK]." One last time, Stand Atlantic put their no genre boundaries to the test one last time with a very fast-paced punk rock-inspired tune. Which is also the shortest track on the album. "molotov [OK]" details Fraiser's experience growing up in a religious environment -a Christian school she attended for three years- and being turned off by the constant rhetoric that same-sex attraction was "sinful." "molotov [OK]" was written as a way to fight back against that rhetoric and a signal to those who have been through similar situations that they are not alone. Fuck Everything And Run is another stellar record from Stand Atlantic. F.E.A.R takes the band to new places, both in songwriting and sound. As mentioned, the band upped the ante by delivering a raw, visceral, and unconventional pop-punk album when they left all expectations and genre limitations at the door when they wrote and recorded its fourteen tracks. Without straying far from their pop-punk roots, Stand Atlantic adds little inklings of other influences and genres they're fond of, leaving them with limitless possibilities for this record, and it leaves the unimaginable imaginable for anything from the band in the future.