A Is For Atom - A Is For Atom
The 'retro' sound has recently become hugely fashionable in popular music, whether made so by the leaders or followers I'm not sure. But Mike Cykoski of A is for Atom is clearly a believer. What do you get when you take Eel's vocal filter and throw it at Hot Chip's mixer? You get this EP.
The album title references a 1953 film on the perceived benefits of atomic energy, but how this EP relates to that I'll let you decide. The undercurrent of beat and smooshy noise is hypnotic enough that it masks the lyrics at certain points, but where it doesn't I confess I'm not massively enthralled. This is a perspective-making album - 'Whiskey' would probably be pertinent in it's obviousness if you've had a few of the aforementioned, it's true. To quote: "Sometimes you win, sometimes you win, but you lose sometimes". As I'm currently sober and cursed with a horrible aversion to being able to guess lyrics of songs I've never heard, it grates. Play it at 3am in a banker's bar and you'd probably have tears. Similarly with "I'll be drowning all my sorrow 'til I get back home".
Musically, A is for Atom is much better. My attuned ears pick up the European electronica-based influences of Julian Cassia's production, and it might sound suitably exotic to my friends across le pond. It has the surrealism of Flaming Lips and the grim flatness of Radiohead, and it's well-engineered and well composed. It haunts and hums. Interesting musical textures are thrown in - trumpets, a few acoustic drums. Ho! Every now and again, a peak... then the plains again.
I fear a divide over this one. Some listeners will be immediately attracted to the uncomfortable and immersive mixture, but to others it will sound like the parroting of cliches over the music of Marvin the Paranoid Android. (Spounted facts over something with grimmer undertones... nuclear energy... hmmm... could it be... we've found the relation?)
User Reviews and CommentsLog In or Register to Rate Albums
Tell us why this album is great or sucks ass, or correct the reviewer. If you write enough quality reviews you may find yourself on the editorial staff.
Reviews have to be over 100 words, shorter ones are classed as comments.