Atomic Bomb Audition — Eleven Theatres
(Hector Stentor hs04, 2006, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2007-03-01Hailing from Oakland (always a good thing!), ABA is essentially an instrumental g/b/d trio with each member playing various additional instruments (electric sitar, Theremin, samplers, organ, synth, piano guts, etc.) plus a fourth member dedicated to signal processing, sound manipulation, and such. The latter is a most important element, as there are sections where much of the sound is heavily processed into a chaotic organic swirl, yet still recognizable by the instruments that produced it. Theremin makes its first appearance early on, followed by an aggressive, snarly, almost-punk piece in odd time, completely saturated in heavy distortion. "Apocalypse Dove Song" slows the pace down a bit and brings back the heavy processing. At that point one realizes there's a lot more than the basic three at work here, when saxes and trumpet make their entrance, capably supplied by guest musicians, and it becomes clear how bizarre sounding this band can get, occasionally even reminding of The Residents in their heyday, although Mr. Bungle is a more obvious reference point. All of the writing is very unconventional. Eight minutes of "Banda Aceh" underscore this also, from its take on surf beat to the siren-like Theremin musings over squeaks and found sounds. But eventually some ideas start repeating, and just because you can make a 72-minute CD doesn't mean you should; as the disc plays on past the 40 minute mark, one realizes that much of this could have been presented more concisely. Still, a very promising debut.
Related artist(s): The Atomic Bomb Audition
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more