By Colonel Angus

I was familiar with MONSTER MAGNET but THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX was not something that was on my radar.  Given my love for 70’s hard rock, I was happy to get the chance to review this latest disk “Scorpio”.  Not having any history to go by, I approached this with an open mind and I have to say, it took a few listens for me to get on board.  First off, the production is thick and noisy which threw me off a bit but then I realized it was perfect for this type of no holds barred 70s hard rock.  Secondly, the vocals are not the best but again, they fit the music perfectly.  This is just three piece bashing away on some pretty catchy tunes and that is exactly what it sounds like. 

 After I got past my first couple of spins, I started to really enjoy the rawness and energy of the whole record.  Half the songs don’t make it past 3 and ½ minutes which is all the time they need to rock the listener.  Oddly, “Scorpio” starts off with the worst song (in my opinion) and only seems to get better with each tune.  The instrumental “Ninja” (one of the longer tracks) is damn good and reminds me a lot of “Driven” from RUSH’s Test For Echo CD.  The other two instrumentals, “Crash” and “Instant Death” are both hard rock tour de forces that race along and make the listener want to go driving really fast down the open road.  Elsewhere, “Easy Action” and “You Got It” are solid rockers with plenty of riffing and energy but with a good dose of melody.  Like I mentioned earlier, at first listen, I was not sold on this record but after a couple of more spins, I got into it quickly and I have listened to it quite a bit.

The MONSTER MAGNET mention earlier was due to the fact that two-thirds of the band are current members and the main guy is a former member.  Chris Kosnik handles bass and vocals, and while he won’t get vocally mistaken for a Robert Plant or a Paul Rogers, he has the perfect voice for this straight ahead hard rock.  Joining him for “Scorpio” are Bob Pantella on drums and Garrett Sweeny on guitars.  All there members put in a raw performance that almost sounds like you are in a bar listening to the band during soundcheck.  Many people will try to put “Scorpio” in to the “Stoner Rock/Metal” genre and while I hate putting bands/records into “marketing” boxes, this one seems right.  But instead tossing a label on this record, just sit back and enjoy the hard rock sounds of “Scorpio”.