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Despite the standard '70s instrumentation, tricky rhythm burps manifest right out of the gate. It's not quite "math rock" but counterpoint enough to bring King Crimson and Polvo into the conversation. Chris Kosnik's soaring, echo-layered guitar runs sound as sweet as similar flights by Jeff Beck. But I'm starting to wonder if there are going to be any “songs” — for instance, one like "Sometimes Wednesday" (from Tab 4) would be great. Then Kosnik signals for the rhythm section to follow him down a slightly different trail. And I find my head banging along with one long, 42-minute excursion.

The all-instrumental ride is often steady and restrained enough to function as fine driving or machine-assembly music. It's a stimulating, sometimes jaw-dropping listen. And if you start to hear groups of musicians jamming from various garages, shredding like each player's had several triple espressos, you'll know who they're trying to emulate: TAB originally merged (from Core, Godspeed, and Monster Magnet) to "play what [we] want." About 15 years later, this conflagration of hard-rock gods plays what it wants for enraptured hordes of head bangers.

  • Album: The Local Fuzz (2011)
  • Artist: The Atomic Bitchwax
  • Label: Tee Pee Records
  • Song: The Local Fuzz
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