4 out of 5 Stars!
Little Atlas, a quartet formed near the sunny beaches of Miami, Florida, delivered five above-average albums from 1998 through 2013 before seemingly disappearing.
Wanderlust, the band’s third release, is perhaps my favorite of the five. On tunes such as “Higher,” “Mirror of Life,” “The Prisoner,” and “The Ballad of Eddie Wanderlust,” the band delivers Progressive Rock in a similar vein to groups such as Yes, Spock’s Beard, Echolyn, Pallas, Salem Hill, The Flower Kings, etc., but never directly copying any of the aforementioned groups. Instead, the band creates its own unique twist on the Prog-Rock genre, while each of the seven tracks, all falling somewhere between the five and ten minute mark, are loaded with memorable melodies, often-complex instrumentation, and a variety of moods.
Moreover, I especially appreciated the nod to Gentle Giant on the track “Weariness Rider” when it came to the counterpoint a capella vocal passage, which further displayed the band’s overall creativity.
Regardless, it’s a crying shame Little Atlas didn’t receive wider recognition throughout the years, since the group showed great promise and I would have easily welcomed additional material.
Thankfully, in 2014, the group Strattman (named after Little Atlas’s guitarist Roy Strattman) emerged on the scene with a terrific album, and also includes Steve Katsikas (vocals/keyboards) and Rik Bigai (bass), both from Little Atlas as well. Therefore, the band basically lives on in spirit, only under a fresh moniker and with several different members, which is certainly good news for the Prog-Rock community and fans of the original group.