The Atomic Bitchwax
Spit Blood (MeteorCity)
by Craig Regala
Seven-tracker from The Atomic Bitchwax comprising a couple from ’96, a cover of “Dirty Deeds” by AC/DC, an alternative version of a tune off their best record, Liquor Queen (not very different), two new ones, and an “experiment” (their term). Seems like a stop gap release or a vault emptier. Considering the guitar player, Ed Mundell who also tools for Monster Magnet, has been noted as leaving, maybe it is. The “liner notes” printed on the freebee bonus disc that comes with Spit Blood notes there’s a band called Slaprocket made up of the rhythm section of The Atomic Bitchwax and one of the Solace guys. Spit Blood is for fans of the band, if you would like to dip into Bitchwax’s hot-wired jammy half-instrumental power trio action, get their second record, II. These guys are rooted in the freewheeling, crackling, post-blues rock of the early ’70s acid rock bands, hopped up and streamlined by guys who dig the fluid hard-rock groove of Captain Beyond, Mahogany Rush, and Mountain. It ain’t about the songs, II’s full of high-energy playing in its format, but don’t expect “metal”-style groove chomping as is understood in a bar chord riff-riding sense. When I saw Monster Magnet with Clutch and Iron Maiden (and then went to see the Melvins do a gong solo after wandering around the parking lot really drunk for an hour and a half), Ed had an Iron Butterfly tee-shirt on. It looked vintage, too.
So the real reason to pay money for Spit Blood is the sampler. A song by each of the following: The Mushroom River Band, Orquesta Del Desierto, Slaprocket, Eternal Elysium (from their new one, Share; it’s very good), The Ribeye Brothers, Solace, and Lowrider. The disc plays well as a regular CD as opposed to a sampler and welcomes some guys who’ve been “around.” The Ribeyes’ “Mr. Ray Charles” has a greasy feel from guys (Tim Cronin and Jon Kleinman) who’ve fell in the Boones Farm-slicked mud waiting for The James Gang to play “Funk 48” at the Bicentennial show in Cleveland in the summer of ’76, got their elephant bells dirty and woke up 15 years later in Monster Magnet. Slaprocket we’ve covered, and the other new unit; Orquesta Del Desierto is a stoner rock super group comprised of Alfredo Hernandez (Kyuss), Pete Stahl (Scream, Wool, Goatsnake), and Mario Lalli (Fatso Jetson). The song is great stoner psychedelia owing much to Fatso’s copious influence on the Desert Sessions records.
(PO Box 40322 Albuquerque, NM 87196)