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The Atomic Bitchwax Waste No Time On “Hippie Speedball”

the atomic bitchwax

Misery is all around. The inescapable wildfire of bad news that taunts us via the screens glued to our hands and faces is coming from inside the house, collapsing the walls of normalcy and fouling the air with the thick smoke of fear and anhedonia. Much of the music we love to listen to and talk about is a reflection of that misery, and while facing the darkness that’s rotting the world from the inside out can be a smart and healthy exercise, sometimes you just have to say “Fuck it!” and forget. Where positive platitudes and faith of any kind feel like a delusional shirking of reality, sometimes a song can succeed in offering a temporary escape.

For going on 20 years now, The Atomic Bitchwax have been bucking the decline of Western civilization with a grin, a nod and an endless supply of fuzzed-out bangers that blur the lines between stoner rock and power pop. If the lead track off of their seventh album is any indication, they’re only raging harder with age, cranking the good vibes up to eardrum-rupturing levels and putting the darkening landscape in the rattling rear-view mirror.

On “Hippie Speedball,” the band doesn’t allow itself the luxury of time with which to fuck around; at two and a half minutes, it’s more speedball than hippie (thank the devil) that sees the longtime lineup of Chris Kosnik, Bob Pantella, and Finn Ryan bashing out their whimsical message like Motorhead with a Prozac problem.

The song comes and goes like a Camaro shot out of hell through the desert that’s over the horizon before the dust settles (verse to chorus to verse to chorus to a bitchin’ solo, back to chorus… so long suckers!).

From the tracklisting for the album’s subsequent 11 songs, none of which clock in at over four minutes, it’s clear that the whole record will follow suit in kicking ass with a laser-focused musicality that’s as giving as it is economical. If you find yourself choking in the cloud of America’s burning house, remember that there’s warmth in the fire. Lean in, light a smoke off of the flames and chill the fuck out for a few.

— John Dziuban

The Atomic Bitchwax’s Force Field will be released December 8th via Tee Pee Records. Pre-order here. Check out a stream of “Hippie Speedball” below.

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