Joburg based art rock outfit Atom Band’s Lock Studios Sample (Live) is a nuanced EP that dabbles in a wide array of styles and gives a little taste of what to expect when they release a full length album next year.
The 5-piece band formed back in 2014 and released two EPs prior to this one – those being All Liars & Thieves and Rabbit Seasons a Witch – with Lock Studios Sample introducing us to a new side of this already eclectic and dynamic group of musicians.
Where the previous two releases were a bit more traditional in their approach to rock music, the latest offering is more dynamic, especially “Shakey Phantom” (let’s talk about that later).
Opener “Dead Ringers” never sticks to one sound or style, rather opting to shape-shift seemingly at will, and the result is a track that never stops being interesting. As Vassan Nirhoo’s vocals jump from Neil Young to Eddie Vedder and back again, the music floats between pop-rock and electric blues with hints of metal and grunge bringing a healthy dose of heaviness.
“Shakey Phantom” introduces us to a jazzier version of the band. Mthokozisi Fane Dube’s silky syncopation provides the foundation for a smooth, quietly groovy song that doesn’t shape-shift the way “Dead Ringers” does, but rather keeps you hooked through subtle shifts in timing and melody.
It’s an EP filled with intelligence and maturity, and we’re watching this space.