By Jonathan Smith
Chicago’s The Atlas Moth emerge from the gate with a debut full-length album that is pretty entertaining at both it front and back end, but which has a more ambiguous middle that is much more tedious than it should be. A Glorified Piece of Blue Sky is, true to descriptions of the band’s style, a collection of doom-y, sludgy tracks that throw their weight around as they ooze into the listener’s ears. There’s enough psychedelia influence here, however, to keep things from getting too grimy. The combination is hardly new, but when The Atlas Moth are at their best originality is not so much of an issue. Album opener “A Night In Venus’ Arms…” and title track “A Glorified Piece Of Blue-Sky” are medium-length songs that showcase the band’s obvious musical talents. The problems emerge in the less structured, less interesting middle tracks that are a drastic change from the groundwork that has been laid up until that point. It’s here that A Glorified Piece of Blue Sky begins to lose its way in a manner that sounds less like improvisational and jam-friendly psychedelia and more like a boring, sludgy mess. Those layered and complicated structures that had been close to coming apart in the beginning carry through on their threats to do so. However, it all comes back together in a big way with “Jump Room To Orion” and final track “…Leads To A Lifetime On Mercury.” The end result is ultimately a taste of The Atlas Moth’s potential, a hint of the potential glories and pieces of blue skies to come.