It is tricky to put a finger on this band. The Joburg-based five-piece hail beneath the general rock genre umbrella while pin-pointing post-punk and melodic indie as their focal territories. Within the brief three tracks of their latest offering “Rabbit Season’s A Witch” – whose very title remains as elusive as their genre bracket – Atom Band veer from semi-classic garage rock to a full-blown, punk-infused direction before skidding in a melodic U-turn and ending up in floaty, ’80s synth town. While these swift, and sometimes slightly aggressive, variations may tend to throw one off at times, they also offer a relatively straightforward, bullet-pointed outline of what this band have on offer.
Pivoted by a resounding bass progression and saddled in whining guitar riffs, ‘Crash Ballad’ is anything but a ballad. Pitched forth at a rollicking pace, the track is honed in only by the almost floaty quality to Vassan Nirhoo’s vocals and a polished feel which reigns in its wildness. As if to top its predecessor ‘Panic In Needle Park’ comes in fast and hot, opening on an electric guitar crescendo which proceeds to tumble into a wildly cacophonic melody. Apart from brief lulls in which the track lapses into a mono-linear progression, the song is dominated by a multitude of converging elements, which combust upon impact into a gritty, off-kilter garage rock offering.
‘Sideways’ wraps up the little project with startling composure and delicate ’80s-esque synth work which pivots the EP into entirely different waters – as oozing keyboard melody and crooning vocals meet and begin to circle. Polished and gently progressive, Atom Band turns their entire offering on its head with this closing track, which just happens to work.
Follow Skye on Twitter.
Listen to “Rabbit Season’s A Witch” below on Deezer.