"Trojans," this Australian quartet's pile-driving lead single, is an indie-bubblegum classic, blending high-on-life lyrical gibberish with a turtle-waxed guitar groove and a hook that lassos your brain into melodic delirium. A whole pack of "Trojans" would've been stellar — instead, it's a solitary flash of big, dumb brilliance: Atlas Genius are schooled students of modern pop architecture, seamlessly bouncing from Coldplay-styled acoustic rock to fizzy Phoenix funkiness to deadpanned Strokes-ian guitar chug. But When It Was Now is more like an alt-pop NOW compilation than a joyous synthesis. Originality aside, it's pretty damn pleasant — a choice soundtrack to your next prom-night make-out session or beer-pong challenge: "All these girls are not the same as you," Keith Jeffery romanticizes to a dance-floor mistress on the syrupy synth-pop rush of "All These Girls," harnessing all the bumbling, tongue-tied charm of a hungover frat boy. It ain't exactly Bill Shakespeare (or "Trojans"), but it gets the job done.
ATLAS GENIUS + IMAGINE DRAGONS + NICO VEGA:: House Of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St, Boston :: February 25 :: 6:30pm :: All Ages :: $25 - $35 :: 888.693.2583 or hob.com/boston