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The Atomic Bitchwax : Spit Blood

[Reviewer's note: This is an enhanced multimedia CD. A second sampler CD of label bands is also included.]

If you ask any fan of stoner/doom to name five top stoner bands, chances are that The Atomic Bitchwax will be one of them. With their trademark hard retro-groove, they in many ways exemplify the genre. Formed over five years ago by guitarist Ed Mundell (Monster Magnet), drummer Keith Ackerman, and bassist Chris Kosnik (both ex-Slap Rocket), the 'Wax have ascended high in the stoner world, and in many people's eyes they've surpassed Ed's 'other' band, Monster Magnet, in groove quality. 'Spit Blood' is their third effort, and if rumours of (yet another) breakup are true, their swansong.

This disc is somewhat of an odds-and-sods affair. First off, there is just over half an hour of music including a cover song, several new songs, a re-make of a song on their second album, and some previously unreleased material. 'Spit Blood' starts off with a faithful cover of the AC/DC chestnut 'Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap'. Its got a strong groove, of course, and...uh..I doubt if I really need to go on. You know that one, right? Next up is a re-make of 'Liquor Queen' off the second album, with a new spacey intro and a new ending. Suffice it to say that this is ATB. at their jammin' best. The new songs, such as 'Get Your Gear,' show the 'Wax's 70s influences to their best advantage. 'Spit Blood' is more experimental and laid back, but suffers a bit from a feeling of being pasted together. The album winds up in fine style with a tune from 1996, 'U Want I Should' which kicks out the jams completely, recalling the energy of ATB.'s first album. The video portion of the disc has interviews and video clips galore, thanks to Nod Zine, whose fine chronicles of the U.S. New Jersey scene are legendary.

As a possible swansong for the band, this is an interesting effort. Musically, it offers glimpses of ATB. from the early days to the present. Visually, it should be enough for anyone! But I have to admit that I was almost more excited to hear the free sampler disc of coming label releases. After all, The Atomic Bitchwax may be the past, but these future releases show that the future is so bright, you gotta wear... you know. So think about it: new ATB., lots of visuals, and a bonus disc. How the hell can you go wrong?

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
2. Liquor Queen
3. Get Your Gear
4. Cold Day in Hell
5. Spit Blood
6. Black Trans-Am
7. U Want I Should

Duration : Approx. 33 minutes

Visit the The Atomic Bitchwax bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Kevin McHugh
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