Lemmy once reflected that all the guitar riffs should have been used up by now but somehow they haven’t. Special praise then should go to guitarists who continuously define the historical odds stacked up against them to produce wonderful riffs for our listening pleasure. Guitarist Finn Ryan of The Atomic Bitchwax is further evidence to support Lemmy‘s spot on observation. With Chris Kosnick and Bob Pantella finding time between their Monster Magnet duties, The Atomic Bitchwax have definitely got their mojo rocking out in big 1970’s fashion on this, their sixth album. However, with a modern day progressive production this is anything but dated or stuck in the past, more like how relevant and vital 1970’s rock influences can be when handled with vibrant enthusiasm, creativity, love and an eye on the modern rock world.
Songs burst into action hitting you right between the eyes, as with ‘It’s Alright’, ‘Protoworld’ and ‘Sexecutioner’ with its great Black Sabbath-style riff and high-octane tempo and groove, and Chris announcing with strong conviction “I have been waiting all this fucking time”. ‘No Way Man’ has a rumbling bass line and a great solo opening reminiscent of ‘Wrathchild’ by Iron Maiden. ‘War Claw’ starts with a riff close to ZZ Top‘s ‘Just Got Paid’ but the supercharged tempo takes this, one of three fabulous instrumentals, somewhere else completely. The other instrumentals in question are ‘Fuck Face’, with meaty riffs to match the title, while my personal favourite ‘Down with the Swirl’ mixes southern fried soloing with the album’s trademark powerhouse drumming.
Okay, I’ve made my point – this album rocks but there are quality songs; ‘Roseland’ and the immensely catchy Queen of the Stone Age-ish, ‘Ice Age “Hey Baby”‘. It will have you singing along to the shrug-of-the-shoulder acceptance of the inevitable end of the world. It ends with Chris letting out a “Whoa…” and as a listener I feel the same and grin with pleasure.
Tee Pee Records released one of favourite albums of last year with The Skull‘s “For Those Which Are Asleep”. It might be premature to say at this time of the year but The Atomic Bitchwax have delivered a genuine contender to top my annual ‘Best of’ list. This power trio explode relentlessly throughout with fine musicianship and a big hearty desire to rock. Respect!