Sunday, August 26, 2012

Major Tom And The Atoms - Shake It Til You Break It

Major Tom And The Atoms
Shake It Til You Break It
Independent Release/Remedy Music

Despite the success of their two full-length releases and their reputation as one of the underground indie-rock scene’s best live outfits, Melbourne (Victoria, Australia) outfit Little Red officially announced their split earlier in the year. There’s no doubt that the news was disappointing, but as the saying goes, when one door closes – another is bound to open. And from out of the ashes of Little Red, we can now celebrate the formation of Major Tom And The Atoms.
Fronted by former Little Red baritone crooner ‘Major’ Tom Hartney, Major Tom And The Atoms (Who also comprise of guitarist/backing vocalist Simon Tait, bassist/backing vocalist Simon Lawrie, saxophonist/Theremin/backing vocalist Sean Vagg, pianist/backing vocalist Ben Huisman and drummer/backing vocalist Adam Swoboda) have been performing together for the last year, and have within that time been praised by fans and critics alike for their lively and infectious shows.
With a growing following and acclaim for their presence on stage, the six piece act soon made a move towards the recording studio, and with the assistance of producer/mixer Tony Buchen (Who’s worked with the likes of Tim Finn, Phrase, Wim, John Butler Trio, Andy Bull, Gin Wigmore, Blue King Brown, Dereb The Ambassador, Washington and Old Man River), the band have released their debut E.P. ‘Shake It Til You Break It’.
The opening track ‘The House That Love Built’ (The first single released from the E.P.) is a rocking effort that oozes plenty of saxophone based rhythm and blues mixed with a touch of old-school funk that is sure to get any audience moving in no time at all. Hartney’s familiar deep vocals add plenty of soul to the tune, while the remainder of the group prove how tight knit they’ve become after a little more than a year together.
‘Rolling Stone’ is another firm favourite with its big band/piano based framework, while ‘Last Dance Of The Lizard King’ sees the band channelling the spirit of Jim Morrison and The Doors – albeit filtered through the band’s own hybrid mix of blues, soul and indie-rock.
A real stand out is the rather straight forward blues like and rocking ‘Merri Creek (Dead & Gone)’, which boasts some great piano and lead guitar work and soulful backing vocals, while ‘Mockingbird’ brings to mind The Strangeloves’ ‘I Want Candy’ in terms of its riffs and tempo, but rocking and enjoyable enough to overlook the obvious comparisons.
‘Shake It Til You Break It’ is a great little E.P., and a worthy indication of what Major Tom And The Atoms has to offer. Sure, this release doesn’t capture the band quite in the same way as their live performances, but it’s enough to get the idea.
Little Red may be done and dusted, but at least we have Major Tom And The Atoms to help fill the void.

For more information on Major Tom And The Atoms, check out -

© Justin Donnelly

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