Monday, April 30, 2007

The Atomic Bitchwax - "Ice Pick Freek"

Seeing both Monster Magnet and The Atomic Bitchwax live left no doubt in my mind that guitarist Ed Mundell maintained his membership in the former for strictly financial reasons. The Magnet put on one of the worst live shows I've ever seen, an unwarranted showcase for frontman Dave Wyndorf's ego run amok. The 'Wax, on the other hand, was clearly Mundell's dream band: a low-key side project with an effective but unpretentious vocalist, minimal commercial expectations and plenty of unhindered opportunities to riff away undisturbed and solo as long as he pleased.

Of course, I may have misjudged them: Mundell left the band in 2002; bassist/vocalist Chris Kosnik hired ex-Core wank-man Finn Ryan to replace him and soldiered on. So perhaps they were more than just Mundell's vanity project.

The 'Wax emerged at the peak of the "stoner rock" hype-fest, and embraced the pseudo-genre's clich├ęs in all their bell-bottomed glory: unabashed 70s arena-rock fetishism; a visual image predicated entirely on sci-fi, muscle cars and bare breasts; and a deal with Tee Pee Records. II doesn't differ significantly from the band's self-titled debut, and that's not a complaint. The 'Wax distinguished themselves from their peers via sheer chops, and they're on display in spades on II's opening track, the instrumental "Ice Pick Freek [sic]". It's a perfect opening number, a chance to flex their skills with their tongues firmly entrenched in their cheeks.

I'm pretty sure I got this one new via mail order when it first came out from either the label or All That's Heavy, so there's no great crate-digging story behind this one, just a killer tune. Bang that head and boogie, maaaaan.

Buy it... on vinyl.

From my deck to you: The Atomic Bitchwax - "Ice Pick Freek"

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