Ataris main man Kristopher Roe may have named his band in a bout of videogame nostalgia, but there's nothing bloopy about the music he makes. It's dream-pop with fuzzy, melodic guitars and a sweetly crooning falsetto served straight up. Unfortunately for Roe's celebrity dreams, it's a sound made far more famous by the oft-bedraggled My Bloody Valentine and Oasis, and even Don Henley . . . kinda.
The Ataris began in 1997 when Roe -- merely looking for a drummer to jam with -- attended a Vandals show in Cincinnati and gave a demo tape to a roadie. To his surprise, the Vandals wound up releasing Roe's music, even though Roe could never maintain a steady lineup.
But Roe isn't a struggling bandleader so much as a struggling songwriter. That's why it's got to gall him to know that once he did jump to Sony/Columbia in 2003, the only song radio touched was a cover of Henley's "The Boys of Summer."
Now, after 12 years, the Ataris are about to release the forbiddingly titled Welcome the Night, the first disc for their very own Isola imprint. Has Roe modified his dream, or is he finally taking charge of it? Only those who listen can find out.
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