Atari Teenage Riot
Is This Hyperreal?
Released: June 6 2011
Genre: Digital Hardcore
Label: Dim Mak
By: James Murray
Before 2010, nobody would have guessed that it would be the year of their reunion – but after a series of tour dates and the release of Activate in 2010, Atari Teenage Riot have returned with their first full-length in twelve years.
Although perhaps not quite as heavy as 60 Second Wipe Out, the third and last album before their hiatus, Is This Hyperreal? resurrects all our memories of the 90s: liberating, political, digital hardcore – the only clear development being the updated relevancy of their lyrics, with several references to the internet and our impending technological future.
Opening track Activate acts as a flashback to the prime years of Atari Teenage Riot, the trademark snare-roll initiating the instrumentals as new MC, CX KiDTRONiK’s spoken-word vocals speak of the power and influence of music.
The album titled track Is This Hyperreal? focuses on the album’s theme of revolution and change, which makes sense after a hiatus of over a decade:“The revolution has been activated, we’ve got to be brave to stand our ground – stay on the radar”. Blood In My Eyes takes a rather different approach lyrically – a rather grotesque but powerful outlook on exploitation and sex trafficking.
Perhaps the strongest track of the record, at least instrumentally, is Rearrange Your Synapses – without a doubt the most energetic and forward-thinking track of the LP. The lyrics throughout Rearrange Your Synapses suggest we must change our conceptions of today’s world, as technology, the internet and mobile devices are capable of activating a revolution at any given time. The ideological lyrics in combination with the ruthless vocal styles and synths (reminiscent of the mid 90s) make for an emphatic track and potential future single.
There’s no doubt that Is This Hyperreal? will appeal to all original fans of Atari Teenage Riot. Although they’ve rather surprisingly strayed little from their original style, there’s certainly something in this LP for general fans of electronica and hardcore – in fact, there’s something in this LP for any open-minded fan of high-energy music. Atari Teenage Riot are back – and it’s safe to say they’ve certainly not mellowed with age.
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