Altered Sky – ‘Without Wonderland’

By Kathryn Black

Altered Sky have been treading the boards for a few years now and it isn’t obvious why they haven’t drawn in the crowds like some of their peers. From sunny Glasgow, their accessible style of pop rock is jovial and easy-going, so can they win over the crowds with their debut album ‘Without Wonderland’?

The unfortunate truth is that not everyone wants to see two powerful women playing alongside two guys and taking charge of a band. Lead singer Ana Nowosielska’s lyricism is representative of women everywhere, powerful yet vulnerable at the same time: “I will make you proud but if you could see me now…”

This band are so gutsy they’ve self-funded their debut album ‘Without Wonderland’, finally released after five years of touring. If you haven’t heard of them yet, why not? They’ve supported The Wonder Years.

‘This War Is Mine’ ensures the album bursts into life. Drummer Amy Blair’s beats maintain a positive feeling throughout every song, even when the lyrics of break ups and anger are the driving force behind each track, and take control of where each track is heading. ‘Live For It’ is propelled into a heavier, angrier noise with its rolling drums and contrasting high and low vocals.

Rich Passe and Ross Archebald add a rockier edge to the band. While Nowosielska’s singing takes centre stage, the guitars that can switch the mood of a song in an instant, are used to improve the sound rather than smother it. ‘Bury It All’ is a cuddle to the ears. Uncomplicated guitar chords, a catchy chorus, and a positive message all squish together in a cheerful singalong: a great choice for a lead single.

The only negatives? If you over analyse Altered Sky, they could seem stuck in the noughties. They’d easily fit in with the bands the emo inclined of us loved at school. Stay away from stereotyping and, instead, just take them for what they are: simple, fun pop rock.

KATHRYN BLACK

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