Atlas Losing Grip – Currents

Atlas Losing Grip - Currents

Atlas Losing Grip – Currents

Opening her new album, Vulnicura, Björk chimes, “I have emotional needs.” With that, she taps into raw, personal truths. She also makes a great argument for listening to Slayer or any band that would dismiss those lyrics as gross self-preoccupation. But Atlas Losing Grip’s new album just about tops Björk. Self-diagnoses abound in Currents. This otherwise serviceable rock album by the Swedish band sputters and dies, its battery drained by terrible lyrics delivered anonymously.

First, the lyrics.

In 1946, George Orwell lamented the state of prose in political journalism in an essay entitled “Politics and the English Language.” For one, he loathed the use of dying metaphors:

… there is a huge dump of worn-out metaphors which have lost all evocative power and are merely used because they save people the trouble of inventing phrases for themselves. Examples are: Ring the changes on, take up the cudgel for, toe the line, ride roughshod over, stand shoulder to shoulder with, play into the hands of, no axe to grind, grist to the mill, fishing in troubled waters, on the order of the day, Achilles’ heel, swan song, hotbed.

Currents is a hotbed of dying metaphors. In “Sinking Ship,” the lyrics say life is a game of cards. In “Cast Anchor,” we’re the captain of a ship. Throughout the album, life is a maze, a journey – always one dumb thing or another.

Another recurring issue is the persistent preaching from the gospel of self-determination. Nearly every song focuses on vague life choices. Between ankle-deep ruminations about how you play your cards and how you steer the ship, vocalist Rodrigo Alfaro even manages to plagiarize borrow from Rush’s “Freewill”: “You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice / If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

This is unforgivable. The damage might be mitigated if not for the complete lack of ethos in the vocal. This music had no influence over me. I never bonded with the person behind the lyrics. I sensed no edge, no sensitivity, no anger, and no insecurity.


Atlas Losing Grip, a rock band lost somewhere between melodic punk and metal, formed in 2005 in Sweden. Rodrigo Alfaro joined later. He is gone now and Niklas Olsson is in. The band has toured with NOFX and Billy Talent.   More info can be found at the band’s website and Facebook page.