Atombombpocketknife – Lack and Pattern (CD)

ABPK’s grave sound is no doubt caused by the brooding nature of their sound, best described as a mixture of Husker Du and Marilyn Manson. When I say best describe, what I really mean are the two bands that contribute to ABPK’s sound but are not indicative in any large way to their sound. The band is just too diverse to have any single influence predominate, and depending on their mood, a bevy of different influences bubble to the top. The synthesizer in “Slow Gotten Gone” is reminiscent of early Doors, and Justin’s vocals in the follow-up track, “Shards CTA” is aurally near to Mr. Manson. An incredible amount of layers make for differing experiences by each listener – the guitar, the drums, the synths, and any other instruments that ABPK take with them on the trip that they call a track make their sound one of the deepest achieved by any current act. “Recovery Club”, immediately preceding the aforementioned “Gold Leaf”, provides nothing in the form of forwarding the experimentation on the disc. The guitar work later in “Recovery Club” mixes extraordinarily well with the brooding, bubbling up drums laid down by Tony Lazzara.

Shaking their psychedelia and general sludginess for a much more polemic, stomping tempo in “Gold Leaf”, ABPK show all of the current artists that call themselves rock what the term truly means. The intricate bass line lied down by Allison Hollihan weaves itself inbetween the Iommi-like brutality of the guitars. “Locket” is another perfect example how something that was fairly benign and prone to staying in the original arrangement is touched by the divine hands of ABPK as it rapidly spirals out of control, so far so in fact that one is unable to recognize the ending of the track from the beginning.

ABPK is a band that is brilliant with whatever tack they go out on – their arrangements are complex to the point that any recognizable forms are shucked for much more obtruse sounds. While no one would claim that ABPK is radio-friendly, each component part on “Lack and Pattern” pulls their weight in making this paradoxically one of the most tight and unconstrained albums of recent memory. This is the current time’s Faust, this is today’s Free, and regardless of popular acclaim, anyone that has any sense about what is good in music will be picking this up, if they haven’t already.

Rating: 7.0/10

Top Tracks: Gold Leaf, Locket

Atombombpocketknife – Lack and Pattern / 8 Tracks / 2004 File 13 Records / / / Reviewed 24 July 2004

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