By Sarah Kitteringham
Listening to Calgary punk act The Ativans is reminiscent of Warped Tour, circa 2003. That weekend, driving punk/pop punk was aplenty as the Mad Caddies, The Dropkick Murphys, Face to Face, Rancid and Suicide Machines played; meanwhile, Simple Plan was pelted by bottles by a pissed off crowd who’d been nearly hailed out by chunks of ice that left welts and bruises. Andrew W.K. was scream singing about partying while dive-bombing from amplifiers covered in his own blood. All told, it was a fun time but the memories are blurry. Perhaps that’s because an errant CD hit my forehead and sent me to the first aid tent with blood streaming into my eyes, but who knows?
According to their Facebook page, Landlocked is “a 10-song study in clinging to vanishing youth.” In that vein, something tells me the three guys who make up the Ativans were also part of the punk scene in Calgary way back in the early to mid 2000s. When Carpenters Union and the Bridgeland Community Centre hosted the best gigs and the Warped Tour line-up wasn’t an absolute metalcore/pig squeal wasteland (see paragraph above). Then again, maybe not and this is all projection. Regardless, anyone who was there would connect with the Ativans bouncy songs, which feature clean yet snotty vocals, driving riffs, bombastic drums and encouraging sing-alongs (check out “McFly” for the best example). Sure, the songs all bleed together, but they’ll still leave rosy memories flying through your head.
This is fun, this is punk, this is rock. Get hard!