Release DetailsLABEL MeteorCity
RELEASED ON 6/7/2005
The Atomic Bitchwax
posted on 6/2005 By:
Seventies rock enthusiasts The Atomic Bitchwax have reformed and are back with the enigmatically titled 3, their third full length offering of resin coated up-tempo psychedelic rock. Since the band’s last effort, 2002’s Spit Blood EP, guitarist Ed Mundell has turned his full attention to Monster Magnet, necessitating the enlistment of guitarist/vocalist Finn Ryan (ex-Core). The loss of Mundell is unfortunate, but Ryan fills the void nicely and although they have undergone some stylistic changes, The Atomic Bitchwax can still get all dazed and confused on your monkey ass when they decide to really cut loose.
Their early work relied on the tie-dyed and amps fried, redlined chaos of 70’s stoner rock jamming, but the band has taken a more controlled and melodic approach with this album. The songs are more structured; 3 is much more song based in general. This evolution is both rewarding and a little disappointing. Opener “The Destroyer” is one of the songs more in the spirit of the band’s older material—high energy, fuzzed out ballsy retro rock guaranteed to make you crank your volume knob. The instrumental, once a staple of the band, is now relegated to a supporting role, this time around filled by the driving “Force Field”. Much of 3 sees the Bitchwax crew slowing down a bit, settling into head bobbing stonerific grooves, blending their sound with catchy melodic hooks a la Queens of the Stone Age. This affinity for the melodic is especially present in songs like “You Can’t Win” and “The Passenger”. “If I Had a Gun” even sounds a bit like a heavier moment from early Foo Fighters. The bluesy, lead heavy “Going Guido” is a highlight of the album, as are the cover of Deep Purple’s “Maybe I’m a Leo”, and the rollicking riff acrobatics of “You Oughta Know”.
The vibe created by the tumbling, fuzzy riffs is the highlight of the album, but the vocal pairing Chris Kosnick and Ryan combines well with the guitar work and the rhythm section hammers out a suitably driving foundation. 3 is the kind of album that I probably wouldn’t think to reach for regularly, but consistently enjoy when it’s playing. The return of The Atomic Bitchwax is welcome news to the psychedelic rock crowd, for whom 3 is an easy choice.
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