Classic in both sound and delivery
New Jersey outfit The Atomic Bitchwax are without a doubt one of the unsung heroes of the classic/stoner rock scene, with the four previous releases (1999’s self-titled album, 2000’s II, 2005’s 3 and 2006’s studio/live effort Boxriff) from the veteran act nothing short of classic slabs of heavy rock.
Now returning with their fourth studio effort T4B, the trio (comprising ex-Godspeed/Black NASA bassist/vocalist Chris Kosnik, ex-Core guitarist/vocalist Finn Ryan and ex-Raging Slab/current Monster Magnet/Riotgod drummer Bob Pantella) have again managed to produce an album that easily stacks up with their former releases.
The opening track Revival really does set the tone of the album with the band putting forth a distinctly ‘70’s feel into the track with the addition of mellotron throughout (courtesy of Kosnik). While the song provides a bit of a slow start to the album, the infectious chorus and the general jam-like vibe of the song overall makes it sound great nonetheless.
The instrumental Super Computer harkens back to the band’s earlier sound with its speeding pace and over the top guitar riffs, while the driving Don’t Do It maintains the heady pace with its cranking groove and the band's trademark dual vocal presence.
Despite its worthiness, the cover of Pink Floyd’s Astronomy Domine feels a little too retro and out of place on the album, and therefore doesn’t work quite in the way the band were undoubtedly hoping for. But while the cover is a bit of a misstep for the band, the remainder of the album manages to maintain a respective consistency, with the effortlessly cool Sometimes Wednesday, the jagged heavy edge of Middle Man, the up-tempo good time blast of Daisy Chain and confident musical/vocal dynamics demonstrated within Wreck You the album’s stronger moments.
With T4B, The Atomic Bitchwax have once again delivered a classic rock album, and one that has is varied enough to appeal to those outside the stoner rock crowd.
(Tee Pee Records/Impedance Records/Stomp Entertainment)