The Atom Age expands garage punk sound in self-titled album

The Atom Age expands garage punk sound in self-titled album
Photo cred: Shelby June Photography

A growing force of energy is emanating out of the Bay Area, culminating in what we are coming to know as The Atom Age. The skate punk band of six players are dropping their fifth full-length album this Friday, September 29th via Asian Man Records and the hype is already high.

With a video circulating for the latest single, “New Season”, fans already know that the album is set to uphold the band’s all-out, aggressive aura.

The Atom Age — consisting of vocalists/guitarists Peter Niven and Ryan Perras, as well as drummer Tim Harman, saxophonist Brendan Frye, organist Fred Brott, and bassist Randy Moore — might be new-school in their approach, but old-school in their sound. The organ and sax really strike that nostalgia chord for listeners, weaving in and out of high-energy beats and lyrics that start the minute you enter the album. It’s time to grab your skate deck, your best friend, and your beer.

The self-titled album, being released digitally and with a vinyl pressing, starts with the riotous “Honeybee” to set the tone. The band is “sorting through the flies, looking for a honeybee”… aren’t we all, in this life?! Before the listener gets too comfortable, The Atom Age welcomes you to the “New Season”… at least that’s what “they say”. The lead single’s accompanying video shows the band rocking out to the song in between scenes of the members overly enjoying a serene garden; this juxtaposition signifies how we should feel versus how we really feel whenever a “new and improved” method or craze comes our way.

“‘New Season’ bemoans the frustrating tendency to put our faith into the newest, greatest whatever thing that appears,” says Perras. “It’s been exhausting to deal with the promises of technology and ‘new’ ways of thought that never quite seem to be as beneficial as they promise. Satisfying change always feels just out of reach and we can never seem to wrap our heads around a truly new way to begin.”

But don’t be too exhausted yet. Up next is the rockabilly “High Class Motherfuckers”, with screamed lyrics bouncing alongside the danceable beat, before the more punk-oriented “I Was A Rock N Roll Narcissist”. The bending of the organ and guitar in the latter is quite impressive.

Narcissists or not, the boys of The Atom Age are clearly Rock N Roll masters.

The beat picks up with “Who’s Interfering”, painting a picture of apathetic abundance with “dollar bills falling down on me”. Wouldn’t that be nice? Yet the wealth seems to be fleeting with the haunting intro of “Toothache” purporting “I’ve just made rent off the sweat on my sleeve”. That’s more relatable to the American youth, struggling along in sky-rocketing inflation states like California. We all have to persist, even if it’s in defiance.

The album wraps with notable vocal range in “I Wanna See Something Strange”, the surf rock-infused “Til We’re Shakin”, traditional mosh music in “Believe” with saxophone squealing along, and, last, “Best Technique”. The hypnotic melodies the listener is left with will surely ring in their head… but that’s how “we do things,” says The Atom Age. Sheer brilliance in this age of blended, and most often muted, rock.

Enjoy the new album as of September 29th on all digital platforms or opt for the special vinyl pressing, with the first 600 pressed varying in color (we got an epic green one)! If you simply cannot wait, and we don’t blame you, pre-order now off the Asian Man Records site.

The Atom Age – “New Season”

Links: Instagram

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Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.

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