Sometimes all you need is an Atlas to find your direction.


With a self-proclaimed sound that was “all over the map,” Pittsburgh’ Atlas took the time last year to do just that: find themselves.


The result can be heard on the band’s latest EP “Shapes,” which the band will celebrate at their CD-release party Jan. 18 at The Brillobox.


“We were really all over the place. We really weren’t sure what we were doing. Every song sounded like a different band,” Jon Miller (guitar) said. “I think we had to find out for ourselves what worked. We are all a lot more comfortable playing and writing together now. It has been a really big help for us to know what somebody else is going to do before they do it. I think that makes a really big difference.”


Miller and Mike Slobodain started Atlas with other filling in the pieces, until Eric Emerson took root as the bassist.


“Me and Mike were in another band together. He wanted to do something different, so we started writing songs as Atlas. We had a different couple members along the way,” Miller said. “Our first record was basically me and Mike playing with other people playing/sitting in with us. Our old drummer moved to the state of Washington. During that time (of not having a drummer), we made some changes and shored up the sound.”


In that search for a new drummer, Atlas gathered focus on who they wanted to be musically.


“Last year, with finding a new drummer that kept us in town for a few months. After we found Graeme (Louden, the new drummer), we decided to write a bunch of songs. That bring us up to now,” Miller said. “I think that we have all the right parts. With just finishing the new album, we have more new material ready to go. I think we keep getting better, or we think we are getting better. Hopefully, someone else thinks that too.”


Everything seemed to hinge on finding the right drummer for the band.


“We just kept throwing out craiglist postings and, eventually, we found somebody t. He showed up and nailed (the tracks) fast. It was like drafting the right quarterback. We had days where we brought three or four guys in a day. Some were good and some were weirdos,” Miller said. “It was all over the place. It was really interesting. We basically were ready to go with this other drummer and we tried out Graeme and two days later Graeme was playing with us. It was a Wednesday and we had a gig on Saturday. We asked Graeme if he could learn the songs by then and he did. He nailed the songs, so it has worked out really well.”


With all the pieces in place, CD done and the release party nearly upon them, Atlas is looking ahead to the new year and opportunities.

“We are excited now that the record is done. After (the release party), we are going to branch out a bit more.”