The Ataris

End Is Forever

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Following up their breakthrough 1999 release Blue Skies, Broken Hearts...Next 12 Exits, Kris Roe and his band, the Ataris, offered up the dynamic, dangerously non-punk End Is Forever in early 2001. Along with singer/guitarist Roe, Chris Knapp (drums), Marco Pena (guitars), and bassist Mike Davenport wind their way through an expanse of post-grunge alternative and emocore more musical than anything the Ataris had previously released. Listeners familiar with the group's earlier recordings probably won't be too surprised by End Is Forever as Roe's quickly developing, gifted writing had always been the outfit's defining factor, making the transition away from punk's noisier elements predestined. Purists already dismissive of the entire emo genre will be mortified by Roe's polished heart-tugging trilogy "Giving Up on Love," "Summer Wind Was Always Our Song," and "I.O.U. One Galaxy" that opens the disc. Things degenerate further for credibility-obsessed punk fans when Roe and Co. kick out some old-fashioned big rock on tracks like "Road Signs and Rock Songs." Listeners anxious about the Ataris unavoidable flight to the punk genre suburbs won't have to read between any lines to figure where the band was heading when they produced this 2001 release. After End Is Forever, all that remained to be seen is just how far the quartet's undeniable mainstream appeal would take them.

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