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The Atomic Bitchwax
The Atomic Bitchwax.jpg
The Atomic Bitchwax circa 2020.
Background information
Origin Neptune, New Jersey
Long Branch, New Jersey
Genres Stoner Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Fuzz Rock
Years active 1992 - 2002, 2003 - Present
Labels Tee Pee Records, MeteorCity Records
Associated acts Monster Magnet, Godspeed, Solace, Core, Raging Slab, Slaprocket, Black Nasa, Riotgod
Website The Atomic Bitchwax Official
Current members Chris Kosnik

Bob Pantella
Garrett Sweeny

Past members Ed Mundell

Keith Ackerman
Finn Ryan

The Atomic Bitchwax is an American rock band from New Jersey, formed in 1992 by bassist/singer/songwriter Chris Kosnik, guitarist Ed Mundell, and drummer Keith Ackerman. Initially starting as a psychedelic jam project, the band did not release their first full-length album until 1999, upon signing with Tee Pee Records. Mixing elements of 1960s psychedelic rock and 1970s riff rock filtered through modern progressive rock,[1] their music has appeared in popular TV shows including Jackass, Home Wrecker, and various Fox Sports broadcasts.

With Kosnik the sole constant and chief songwriter, The Atomic Bitchwax would maintain a consistent touring and recording schedule in a career spanning nearly thirty years. To date the band has released eight studio albums, two EPs and has performed over 1,500 live concerts all over the world as of 2020.

History[]

Early Years and First Two Albums (1992 - 2002)[]

The Atomic Bitchwax would be founded circa December 1992 in Long Branch, NJ when three friends convened to jam and throw around musical ideas. The setting was one that's repeated all over the world when good friends and instruments are in the same room. The only difference between this jam and the million others that take place each day was the creation of The Atomic Bitchwax. Comprised of Monster Magnet's guitarist Ed Mundell, Godspeed bassist Chris Kosnik, and up-and-coming drummer Keith Ackerman, The Atomic Bitchwax conjured up a sound that now epitomizes and fuels the Jersey shore rock scene. During the trios early jam sessions a genuine, natural retro-rock style merged that would eventually become the band's signature sound. This unique blend of low-end hooks and psychedelic melodies was in no way influenced by any of the musical trends that surrounded them during the time of its inception. In fact, the band's style of play was formulated and ingrained in their heads years before their first show around that time and even before they decided on the band's name.

1993 and 1994 witnessed The Atomic Bitchwax cut a few demos, which were scheduled around the band's commitments to other projects. Ackerman joined Slaprocket, Kosnik had left Godspeed to play guitar in Daisycutter, then bass for Slaprocket, while Mundell was busy with a then-developing Monster Magnet. Although the trios ability to tour was severely restricted, The Atomic Bitchwax played every opportunity they could. In the band's early years they would share stages with the likes of Clutch, Nebula, Eyehategod, Spirit Caravan, Chrome Locust and Brutal Truth just to name a few. Towards the end of 1997, The Atomic Bitchwax recorded Hey Alright for the critically acclaimed Welcome to MeteorCity compilation, their debut appearance on any release outside of demos to that point.[2]

The in early 1998 inked a deal with MIA Records and Tee Pee Records. Even before the ink was dry on the contract the band holed up in the infamous Trax East Studios with Producer Eric Rachel (Core, Electric Frankenstein) and recorded their debut album. This eponymous debut, The Atomic Bitchwax, would see release on 22 June 1999[3] and attaining positive reviews from the likes of Stoner Rock Rules!, Alternative Press Magazine and Aural Innovations among other publications.[4] To support this debut album The Atomic Bitchwax would embark on their first tour known as the Riff Rock Railroad Tour, alongside Nebula and Core.[5]

The next year would see the band recording a follow-up record at Loho Studios in New York City circa 23 - 29 May with additional recording at Trax east on 5 and 6 June.[6] Notably in the recordings The Atomic Bitchwax would record a cover of Atomic Rooster and a song with Warren Haynes (The Allman Brothers Band, Govt. Mule, The Grateful Dead). Released on Halloween 2000, The Atomic Bitchwax II would garner further critical acclaim.[7][8][9] II would win High Times Magazine's "Doobie Award for Best Stoner Rock Band" and would perform at the awards ceremony, with a guest appearance from Warren Haynes.

The Atomic Bitchwax would follow up on this momentum to record material for an EP in February 2001. Nod Zine was invited to document the two day session (Fly On The Wall - multimedia part on the EP). At the end of 2001 The Atomic Bitchwax would embark on their first European tour with Masters of Reality and Terra Firma, including a marquee appearance at Roadburn Festival. However following two shows in January, on 4 March 2002 via a Yahoo! message board, Ed Mundell announced he would quit the band on 4 February, citing various conflicts between himself and the band members.[10]

Kosnik and Ackerman would search for a new guitarist but ultimately state the band was no more, citing their next release as a "swan song". Spit Blood would see release on 25 March 2002 via MeteorCity Records, featuring a cover of AC/DC's "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" and a sampler of other MeteorCity artists. Spit Blood would attain positive reception from numerous publications such as Lollipop Magazine,[11] Sea of Tranquility,[12] Chronicles of Chaos,[13] Exclaim![14] and Teeth of The Divine[15] among others.

Ed Mundell would largely concentrate on Monster Magnet in the time of the band's breakup while Kosnik would return to a project in Black Nasa and Ackerman would concentrate on his tenure with Solace.[16]

The MeteorCity Years (2003 - 2008)[]

On 24 April 2003 it would be announced that The Atomic Bitchwax would be reforming with the original lineup of Kosnik, Ackerman and Mundell to perform at the fifth edition of Emissions from the Monolith.[17] Following the marquee appearance and two shows with High on Fire, The Atomic Bitchwax would tour Europe surrounding an appearance at Stoned From The Underground.[18] The band would tour Europe again in 2004, this time with Finn Ryan (Core) on guitar as Mundell would be busy with Monster Magnet. However on 27 March it would be announced that Ryan would be the new guitarist and Mundell would be out of the band, followed by a demo of "Dark Chi" with the new lineup. The first show with this lineup would be at The Saint on 23 April 2004, followed by a gig at CBGBs on 29 April with Solace and Orange Goblin. The band would then tour North America following their tour of Europe.[19]

Recording on the band's next album would take place at Trax East in February 2005 with producer Eric Rachel, recording nine new songs and a cover of "Maybe I'm A Leo" by Deep Purple.[20] 3 would see release on 7 June 2005 to positive reviews.[21][22] Kosnik describes "3" as, "all the same craziness, but wrapped around actual tunes." Invigorating T.A.B.’s trademark frenetics and supporting Kosnik’s spoken-to-shouted delivery is the addition of Ryan's smooth vocal approach, rendering the new tunes infinitely singable. "We could've made a record that sounded like old Bitchwax," Kosnik says, "but Finn can actually sing, so why not utilize that?" "3" mixes the band’s classic flair with the angular jazziness of Core and a riff-infused accessibility pioneered by outfits like Cave-In and Queens of The Stone Age. It's a huge evolutionary shift for the band, but hasn’t affected T.A.B.’s explosive, stratosphere-scraping live energy, and at last, fans new and old are finally witnessing the band taking their show on the road.[23] Several songs from 3 would appear on the MTV show "Homewreckers".[24]

Following extensive touring to support 3 the band would record four new songs (Including a cover of the Core song "Kiss The Sun").[25] This EP, also containing a full live set on CD and DVD at the Sunset Tavern in Seattle on 11 November 2005, would be titled Boxriff and released circa 2006, with a tour of North America to support the album. However following touring Ackerman would leave the band that December. The band would begin jamming with Monster Magnet drummer Bob Pantella, whom would join the band for a string of live performances in the Summer and Winter.[26]

Return to Tee Pee, TAB 4 and The Local Fuzz (2009 - 2014)[]

Self-Recording through the Winter of 2008 with mixing by Eric Rachel and returning to Tee Pee Records, TAB 4 would see release on 21 April 2009 to positive reception.[27][28] The Atomic Bitchwax would tour that Spring surrounding an appearance at Roadburn to support the album,[29] followed by further touring in the Fall

Following showcases for Tee Pee Records in 2010, work would begin on a fifth studio album, recording at the Panic Room that Winter.[30] Consisting of a single extended piece of music it was based on the intention of "50 riffs in 40 minutes",[31] The Local Fuzz would see release on 26 April 2011, with a release party on 20 May at Saint Vitus Bar.[32] The Atomic Bitchwax would tour Europe as part of the Up in Smoke touring festival with Mirror Queen and Naam, followed by marquee shows and a gig with Kyuss Lives! to close out the year. Ultimately The Local Fuzz would attain positive reception for it's ambitious concept and change of style.[33][34][35]

The next year would see further touring through Europe, including several shows with Fatso Jetson. Following that would be the band's first ever tour of Australia, as part of Doomsday Festival. In 2013 The Atomic Bitchwax would tour Europe with Mirror Queen and Earthless.[36] Finally in 2014 The Atomic Bitchwax would tour Europe again before beginning work on a sixth album.[37] Kosnik also notably joined Monster Magnet on bass in 2013.

Gravitron and Force Field (2015 - 2018)[]

On 21 April 2015 The Atomic Bitchwax would release their sixth album in Gravitron, recorded and produced by the band at The Panic Room. Gravitron would attain positive reception from numerous publications such as This Is Not A Scene,[38] Louder Sound,[39] Rock Revolt,[40] BraveWords,[41] and Ghost Cult Magazine[42] to name a few. To support the album the band would tour Europe that same month including appearances at Desertfest London and DesertFest Berlin.[43] This would follow with a tour of North America before returning to Europe that Winter.

The band were intended to tour with The Obsessed and Karma To Burn that next Spring but three dates into the tour bassist Chris Kosnik would break his arm. However the band would bounce back for a tour of Europe and a tour of North America alongside Lo-Pan. Following the band's first tour of South America and a Summer North American tour with Mirror Queen, the band would record their next album that Summer.[44]

Premiering a new song in December (And later releasing a music video) in "Hippie Speedball",[45] Force Field would see release on 8 December 2017, touring the UK with Greenleaf and Steak to support. Force Field would attain critical acclaim from the likes of The Obelisk,[46] Angry Metal Guy,[47] Riff Relevant,[48] Ghost Cult Magazine[49] and New Noise Magazine[50] just to name a few.

The Atomic Bitchwax would tour North America with The Sword. However on a tour of Europe just a few weeks later, Garrett Sweeny of Monster Magnet would fill in as the band's guitarist. On 11 December 2018 it would be announced that Finn Ryan would leave the band to enter rehab for addiction issues. Ultimately Sweeny would take over the guitar role.[51]

Scorpio (2019 - Present)[]

With a new guitarist in Sweeny, The Atomic Bitchwax would perform several shows throughout 2019 including a marquee appearance at the inaugural Desertfest New York, along with performances alongside the likes of Black Label Society, Conan, Toke and Church of Misery.[52] In the Winter of 2020 The Atomic Bitchwax would begin recording at Sound Spa in Edison, New Jersey with engineer Stephen DeAcutis. The band would tour with The Goddamn Gallows and Weedeater in the Spring, surrounding a 20th anniversary release of the band's debut album.[53] An intended tour of Europe was planned for the Summer but would be canceled due to The CO-VID19 Pandemic.

On 26 June 2020 details on the band's eighth album Scorpio would surface, with a release date and a premiere for the title track. A full tracklist of ten songs would be announced including a re-recording of the band's first song with vocals in "Hope You Die".[54][55] A second video for the album would drop for "You Got It" on 31 July.[56]

Scorpio would see release on 29 June 2020 and attain positive reception from the likes of Metal Injection,[57] The Obelisk,[58] Angry Metal Guy,[59] MXDWN[60] and Battlehelm just to name a few.[61]

Discography[]

The_Atomic_Bitchwax_-_Kiss_The_Sun

The Atomic Bitchwax - Kiss The Sun

Studio Albums[]

  • The Atomic Bitchwax (1999, Tee Pee Records)
  • The Atomic Bitchwax II (2000, Tee Pee Records)
  • 3 (2005, MeteorCity Records)
  • TAB 4 (2008, Tee Pee Records)
  • The Local Fuzz (2011, Tee Pee Records)
  • Gravitron (2015, Tee Pee Records)
  • Force Field (2017, Tee Pee Records)
  • Scorpio (2020, Tee Pee Records)

Other Releases[]

  • The Atomic Bitchwax (Demo) (1997, Self-Released)
  • Spit Blood (EP) (2002, MeteorCity Records)
  • Boxriff (EP & Live Album) (2006, MeteorCity Records)

Personnel[]

Current Members[]

  • Chris Kosnik - Bass, Vocals (1992 - Present)
  • Bob Pantella - Drums, Percussion (2007 - Present)
  • Garrett Sweeny - Guitar, Vocals (2018 - Present)

Former Members[]

  • Ed Mundell - Guitar (1992 - 2002, 2002 - 2004)
  • Keith Ackerman - Drums (1992 - 2006)
  • Finn Ryan - Guitar, Vocals (2004 - 2018)

List of Known Tours[]

External Links[]

Official Links[]

Archived Links[]

References[]

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