Atomic Sunset – Hot Rods & Pin Ups
Hot Rod Cat – Teenage Queen – Proud Hawk – Chatanooga Choo Choo – Lost Generation – Bloodhouse Worms – Behind The 8 Ball Man – Hot Rods & Pin Ups – Shakin All Over – Devil Woman – Atomic Boogie – Honey Hush – Train In Vain – High Octane Gal – Rock That Galaxy
Formed in 2003 by slap bass extraordinaire Djordje Stijepovic (also lead singer), guitarist Drazen Skaric (both from Havana Whisper) and drummer Sinisa Jovic, Atomic Sunset is a wild modern rockabilly band. Let be honest, if you’re stuck in the 50’s this one has every chances to disappoint you, but if you’re open minded you’ll enjoy it a lot. The album kicks off with 2 Setzer/Stray Cats like tunes. “Hot Rod Cat” wouldn’t be out of place on Setzer’s Ignition and Teenage Queen sounds like Buddy Holly once given the Stray Cats treatment (think “Gina”). “Proud Hawk”, with a bowed bass intro, is a solid surf instrumental on which Skaric’s skill shines. Chattanooga Choo Choo, though good, is a little less convincing partly due to Skaric who doesn’t seem totally at ease as a lead singer. With “Lost Generation” they harden their sound with good backing vocals and made me think a bit about The Quakes. I really enjoyed “Bloodhouse Worms”, a threatening song with a jungle beat played on the toms and a jazzy dialog between the bass and the drums in the middle. With a title like “Hot Rod & Pin Ups” you’d expect a neo-rockabilly tune, but this is more a hardcore tune with syncopated drums, effects on the voice and heavy distorted guitar. To my surprise I liked it a lot. “Devil Woman” is a heavy psychobilly song with a Balkan feel. “Atomic Boogie” is Stijepovic “tour de force”. It’s a jazzy instrumental with a fantastic double bass solo in the middle. If you haven’t seen the video, make yourself a favour and go to Youtube. Skaric plays bottleneck guitar on the boogie blues “High Octane Girl”. This fine album ends on “Rock That Galaxy” a more traditional rockabilly. They also play a couple of covers. “Honey Hush” and “Shakin’ All Over” are modernized and customized to their sound while The Clash’s Train In Vain brings a touch of funky glam pop but finally this cover gives the key to this album. If you’d have to compare Atomic Sunset to a band you’d compare them to The Clash. I mean they are to Rockabilly what the Clash are to Punk music. They try to push the boundaries and dont want to limit themselves to just one type of music. A good and refreshing state of mind.