Across The Board (ATB) is a Canadian rock/ alt country band from Toronto, and creators of the popular YouTube cover series “Pick Up & Play”. ATB’s debut album “Jane On Fire” – released June 14, 2016 – pays homage to classic rock guitar riffs using an alt-country mix of acoustic harmonics and synthy electronics. This 9-song project was 2 years in the making for the 5-member band weaving tales of love lost, unrequited dreams, and truths revealed.
All the tracks are beautiful but I liked The title track “Jane On Fir and “Take A Minute” more than others. Particularly “Take A Minute” was so inspiring for me. Its a slow, deliberate, pounding ballad, reminiscent of a Bon Jovi country-rock ballad— begs the listener to stop and take some time out of the world, to shut down and relax, close the curtains, and breathe. After an album filled with pain, suffering, loss and sadness, this second-last track brings the listener back to the reality of living in the moment. Simple, yet heavy bass drum, highlighted by a bright tambourine, against a heavy but simple soloing electric guitar breakdown, this is a very unique song as it does not follow the typical formula of verse, chorus, bridge, but offers enough catchy hookishness to keep the listener singing along.
Overall the album “Jane On Fire” explores the reality of life’s blows–lost lovers, missed opportunities, being stuck in a rut–neatly packaged into a collection of catchy harmonic hooks highlighted by the guitar-drum heaviness of classic rock, against a background of country-style lyrics and more contemporary synth/electronic c alt-popishness. Surely its a highly recommended, you must listen to it if you are a music lover.