The Atomic Bitchwax (Tee Pee/ MIA 1009-2)
From Aural Innovations #8 (October 1999)
This is the side project started 4 years ago by Ed Mundell, the guitar player from Monster Magnet. The band has mostly just played gigs in NY and New Jersey over the past years but finally found the time to record an LP and should be touring while Dave of MM writes the next record. This is not much like Monster Magnet at all but deeply rooted in the 70's styles of bands like Mountain, Zephyr and Free. The guitar sound is more aggressive (that's just the way Ed plays!) but the song riffs are ace and there is some great jamming (I still think the guitar solos are too short!). The CD opens with some guitar feedback and the band plays "Stork Theme" (written by the guys in Monster Magnet minus Dave!). There are quite a few instrumental songs on this debut CD, which includes a Tommy Bolin cover (one of Ed's all time favorite guitar players!!) as well as a cover by the band CORE (good friends of the band). "Birth to the Earth" is the first song with vocals and has a sort of Mountain style riff to it. "Hey Alright" has a very punkish beginning before becoming a bit slower and Ed laying down some spacey guitar parts in the middle. "Hope you Die" has very angry lyrics and a similar riff to an earlier song. "Getting Old" is one of the highlights of the CD stating off with some really cool Electric Funeral-style Sabbath bass lines . The song slowly builds over the 8 minutes. "Last of the V8 Interceptors" is a 6 minute instrumental with lots of effected guitar parts. Pretty cool. "Shitkicker" is the last ripping song before the CD ends with the 10 minute spaced out piece called "The Formula". I enjoyed the LP a lot and I think people will find some similarities to 70's hard rock as well as bands like Nebula and Fu Manchu, in the way that most of the songs are in the 3 minute range and the guitar solos are short and riffs aggressive. I hope they stretch out the jams live.
Click here to visit an informative Atomic Bitchwax web site.
Reviewed by Scott Heller