Reviews

All Around The World

Splendid 10/8/04

Atomsmasher boast that one of their songs was featured on the WB sitcom Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher. Even if you're not familiar with that particular show (Which probably means that your last name is Nielsen -- Ed.), the fact that it was on the WB should give you some idea of Atomsmasher's target demographic. It's not hard to imagine these organ-heavy, power chord-driven pop songs playing over the PA in the high school gymnasium as Nick Freno tries to coax his students into enjoying their first dance, while somehow attempting to deal with his infatuation for Ms. Lewis. While that show is an embarrassing indictment of '90s sitcoms, Ed Marshall -- Atomsmasher's principal songwriter -- writes timeless rock songs, each one so straightforward that it belongs to no decade.
On "Wait 'til You Come Back" and "Always Right", Marshall and keyboardist Brett Erenberg forge a sound that harkens back to Ric Ocasek's glory days, while still pressing the group's sound into a modern realm a la Grandaddy. On "Very Hungry", Marshall uses a friend's sins as an opportunity to show off his sharp tongue. "Each day I hate you more than you know," he sings over a melody too catchy to be so angry. "I hope you reap what your ass has sewn. Yeah, I hope you get what you give out soon."
It's easy to see how these talented gents landed one of their tunes on TV; most of these catchy cuts readily lend themselves to the cinematic format. It's hard to listen to the bouncy "I Feel" without imagining one of the hapless weirdos from a Farrelly Brothers film in a montage sequence, trying to woo a woman who's way out of his league. And just like the Farrellys, Marshall and company do an excellent job of channeling anger and pain through humor -- and a sugar coating thick enough for the most mainstream audiences in the country.

 

Impact Press Oct./Nov. 04

With a pill of positive music power, this record is the perfect cure for a bitter mood. Upbeat and catchy, NY-based Atomsmasher delivers masterful power pop with exciting, highly melodic guitar solos and super-tight harmonic vocals. And as an added bonus, they rock your ass. They have matured considerably from their last release, taking their craft to a totally new level and making their sound very distinct. (DP)

 

A&A #244

Shiny pop music with that fab fuzzy keyboard sound. The sorta stuff that always brings a smile to my face. Yeah, it's kinda superficial and all that, but joy in a bottle has always worked for me. - John Worley

 

Punk Planet #64

An auspicious start in rock 'n' roll doesn¹t typically come from landing a song on a WB sitcom like ‹if anybody's seen it) Nick Freno, Licensed Teacher. But most members of bands will say that, at the end of the day, if you have good songs, things will always be right. Sometimes that¹s true, and sometimes it¹s not. Atomsmasher plays power-pop songs that, if using the above method for determination, things are right most of the time despite a fairly vanilla sound that is college-bar friendly, only without the covers.
(SM)

 

   

Up & Atom

Music Scene February 18 - March 3, 2000
Rock doesn't necessarily have to abandon catchy lyrics and other qualities while maintaining its rock posture. "Up & Atom" is hard enough to make you appreciate it but not too hard that you can't understand whether the band wants you to pay attention to the music or to the lyrics.
Atomsmasher recalls a time not so long ago before when rock was the thing and it didn't make a difference what was special or what kind of "look" you had. This isn't angry anthem music either. Its full lyrical quips along with moderate rock spurs your imagination and drives you along effortlessly. Great!
Grade A-
 
Musicpaper.com
Atomsmasher serves up raucous rock-and-roll fun with a kind of Elvis Costello-meets-Buffalo Springfield sound that gets under your skin. Only eight tracks long, the CD will make you wish there was more of this infectious rock to enjoy. *** -RGP
 
Impact Press October/November 1999
Immensely creative songwriting and unique blend of instrumentation intermingle with frontman Edward Marshall's captivating vocals. I get the feeling I'm listening to something groundbreaking... this underground NY band is going places the likes of which no god has ever seen.
 
Heard Magazine International Releases Sept. 1999
A brilliantly written & performed album from a New York band whose name rings bells for me, so perhaps their reputation precedes them as well it should with music like this. The band's style rings of many different influences, from Julian Cope, which the band themselves mention alongside some others but one other that came to mind for me was Elvis Costello, whose more aggressive moments could easily fit into Atomsmasher's own style.
One of the things you'll notice about this album as you go from start to finish, is the many different styles the band go through, from the outright traditional style rock of opener "Sick", through to a heavily keyboard driven closing track called "5 Day Weekend".
A couple of very different tracks also stuck for me as big favourites, with probably about 5 plays each, trying to pick which is the better song. In the end, I bad to leave it that they were as good as each other, one being the softer & slightly eclectic "Foreign Dime" & the other an absolutely scorching guitar number called "Jealousy", which I was surprised to read in the liner notes is one of the band's songs from back in 1995. The band's bio quite rightly states that they're set to break it internationally they just could be right.
 
Juice Magazine March 15 1999
Atomsmasher have mastered the subtle task of integrating rock into the pop beast. Although their ditties are more infectious than Ebola, what grabs you by the cajones, is the emotion and energy that drives these songs. These are songs which never skip a beat getting to the point, and never miss a step in getting to the meaning. "The Foreign Dime", a masterstroke of melancholy, says to a band like REM "Start the bus," to which REM replies, "Start the bus?" To which Atomsmasher finishes, "Yeah, start the bus because we are taking you to school!" This quartet from Harrison NY better remember the small people.
4 Stars. - SockBoy
 
Indie Music Reviews Week of August 7th, 2000
This is somewhere between an EP and a full-length. The eight songs on here are pure modern rock, and would fit in right along with any of the hits currently playing on MTV. The only question is why this isn't? From the catchy chorus of 'Sick' to my personal favorite, 'Maybe', Atomsmasher deliver the goods. The sort of slower and more melodic song, 'The Foreign Dime', is pretty good too. The only problem with a couple of the most radio friendly tunes is that they're kinda on the long side, almost five minutes, which is longer than most teenyboppers attention spans. But Atomsmasher could change all that. You may as well get this while you can still say you heard of them first.
***1/2
 
   

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