Hear Those Horns Scream
We are living in the age of post-punk (and even post post-punk) so it’s refreshing to see a band draw its influences from a time before punk. Citing their influences to be the wild and lawless days of early 60’s rock and roll, Oakland, California’s The Atom Age is here to remind everyone that The Troggs were the first punk band and that it’s time to start letting that show. Their newest album, Hot Shame was co-produced by none other than Blag Dahlia from notoriously the wild and lawless Dwarves, which could not have been a better decision on The Atom Age’s part. The band combines horror punk elements like horns and Murder City Devils-reminiscent organs with the reckless fun of bands like The Dwarves and their predecessors.
The amount of energy and enthusiasm on Hot Shame is clear almost immediately with the first track, “It’s a Mess.” Just the title perfectly sums up the atmosphere of the rest of the album, though instrumentally they are actually very talented – the mess is clearly intentional. Fuzzy guitars, wailing horns and frenzied screams are the bread and butter of this record, and you’ll be up on your feet jumping around before the end of the song. And there won’t be time to sit down because that is immediately followed by the incredibly catchy title track “Hot Shame.” The Atom Age also shows their dark side with the snarling “Negative Mind,” and “Wild Worry,” a jazzy highlight on the record.
The Atom Age are definitely doing something interesting, and with time they could evolve into something really exciting. Hot Shame is a great step on that journey, and one that will make a great soundtrack to the hot days of the end of summer. If they can keep making us dance like this, punk fans young and old should be happy to see a band try and bring back the joy and snot of early 60’s rock and roll.