The Atom Age – The Hottest Thing That’s Cool

© 2012 Asian Man Records

Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

It is a rather rare occurrence when an AMR release doesn’t just thrill the hell out of me when I listen to it. The Hottest Thing That’s Cool, the new release by Oakland’s The Atom Age is no exception. To that I say, “Hooray for rock and roll!”

The Atom Age is a 5-piece punk/rock band with a lot of horn laced garage punk cache. Don’t let the garage moniker throw you though; the tracks are by no means lo-fi. It is merely a designation, like a map marker to help you locate things that have some Hammond B3 in there somewhere 😉 If it’ll help you get a better idea of the sound, I’m thinking immediately of Rocket From The Crypt. That influence is inescapable, however the overall vibe is decidedly more aggressive. The additional punk-rockery (when combined with the horns) makes me think more along the lines of King’s of Nuthin’. I also guess that on a purely on a rock plus horns level, they also make me fondly remember a late 90s Portland band. So a nod to The Sauce, for all who remember.

The tracks run around the three minute mark, on average, with the occasional number clocking in at the three and half mark. This works out well with my appreciation of compact tracks. In conjunction with shortish track length, most of the songs are up tempo, with exception of track five, “I’ve Been Thinking.” For this release, I’m a fan of the faster pace as well. The structure of the music isn’t overly complex, but the addition of horns, effects, and strong arrangements make for a larger soundscape than might otherwise be imagined.

So, in a nutshell, five piece horn-laced punk rock with an intriguing and solid sound. The Hottest Thing That’s Cool is out now on Asian Man Records. The band is on tour in June, so check them out if you can. You can get more tour dates on the webs: http://theatomage.com/

–Jerry Actually

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