ATOMIC BITCHWAX and Gas Giant - Stengade 30, KÝbenhavn 12/9/01

From Aural Innovations #18 (January 2002)

Well, now that I am playing synthesizer with Gas Giant, it is a bit different writing these reviews. We showed up with the gear around 4 and set up to do a quick sound check as Atomic Bitchwax (AB) were not due for another hour as they had to drive from Bielfeld in Germany. They ended up showing up just about when we were to start, so they loaded in and did their sound check first and we were next. All went well, but it ran really late. The show was suppose to start at 8:30 on this Sunday night but we did not even get over to get food until a little after 8 and back to the club at a little before 9. We were stuffed. The woman that Ralph had arranged to cook the food for the bands was excellent. We had some nice talks with the AB guys.

When we got back to the club there was mostly people that I knew and not many others. Only about 30 paying people showed up so this was quite a disappointment as this was a Burnt Hippie sponsored event and we lost about 4000DKK on it. It did not matter that much as the whole nights music was incredible and the people who were there were totally into it. I jumped up on the stage about 9 and started to make the windy alien intro sounds on the Nord Lead 2. The rest of the guys soon joined and Stefan started playing some very cool floating space guitar over the top and the band got a groove going for a minute or so before we let the Firetripper riff rip it wide open. The sound was huge (I made the recording from the back of the hall - great sound)! Next up was New Day Rising and I did not play on this song but could go back out into the audience and see what it sounded like (Stefan was not loud enough as usual). Stefan played some amazing guitar. All Creatures followed and I came back on stage to make more space noises and sound effects. Wow... this was a heavy jam, but totally different than the way we played it at Lillie Vega the month before. Now, we slowed it down with an old song called Grow. This is a very catchy song with Stefan's guitar just bleeding with feeling, but don't be put off as the last 4 minutes is a total jam with heavy riffs, conga drums and wild synthesizer... Excellent... Alien Frequency, another old song was next and I played some cool sounds to mix in with the song. The bands stand out heavy masterpiece, Storm Of My Enemies was up and this is where Stefan just lets it all go on the guitar and plays some of the most amazing heavy riffs, blinding solos and just total space guitar. I try to mix my sound into the total space rock experience. I think this is where most of the AB guys caught the set, but I know you can hear the music quite well down in the dressing room in the basement as well. Moonshake closed our set, a quick 3-4 minute song with no jamming but a great song. The crowd really wanted more and we were not scheduled nor had we rehearsed any other songs. We stood off to the side of the stage waiting. The guys told me to go back out and make some space sounds as they were deciding to play Too Stoned. We played Too Stoned and man it sounded great with the spacey wind sounds and Stefan's eerie guitar. Awesome set and just under an hour. Ed commented after we played that Stefan had a most amazing guitar sound and that we played really cool heavy space rock and he wanted the CD. It was very nice to hear. I asked about the synth sounds, as I am still pretty insecure about what I am playing with the band but everyone I asked really liked it.

Set List: Firetripper, New Day Rising, All Creatures, Grow, Alien Frequency, Storm of my Enemies, Moonshake, Too Stoned.

It was a quick change over and AB were on in 15 minutes to rock the place. If you have not heard the band before, they play very 70's based hard rock riffs but with a heavier guitar tone and lots of ripping guitar solos all the time from Ed. The band are very solid with great bass playing, drumming and guitar. The band opened up with Liquor Queen and into Kiss The Sun by CORE. The band have a lot of instrumental and cover songs (3). Shitkicker is a very fast song, they also have quite a lot of these that sound a bit similar. Hey Alright and 45 were next. The band had finally loosened up when they played Crazed Fandango by Tommy Bolin (Ed's favorite guitar player!). This was really great as Ed was really playing well. They had a short bass solo and then Gettin' Old which was a stand out of the set as well. Cast aside was another short fast one. They had a guy named Greg come up for the next song and play the slide guitar part of Warren Haynes on Smokescreen. This sounded great as well but the guy does not quite have that raw feel of Warren but it was great to hear live. Hope U Die followed and was cool as well. I like the riff and guitar soloing on this one. Stork and Birth to the Earth closed the main set at about 55 minutes. The band don't really play any long songs or long jams excluding Crazed Fandango. A brand new instrumental number that Ed told me was about the wanna be hippies in New Jersey that wear Birckenstock shoes. It is called Jerkenstocks. This was an excellent song, with a slow heavy, phased out guitar riff. Very cool. They closed the show with Killin' Floor and this was awesome guitar, bass and drumming from the whole band. Great smoking show for those into good solid 70's grooves with lots of ripping guitar on the top. Great guys as well. We talked a lot and we really got on well. I hope we can get them back again.

Reviewed by Scott Heller

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