One of the things I love about music (I wonder how many times I’ve started a review with those 8 words…) is how different bands can stand out and hit you with so many different aspects of the music. For some it’s simply a serving of catchy, pop choruses, others it’s the character and style. Not many, for me, have vocals that stand out so much as Atom Driver’s. Mark Segall’s vocals give the sound a massive edge that works perfectly with the punked up garage-rock sound.
And the vocals are also, co-incidentally, put to great use with the catchy little opener Hate Me Now. I guarantee you, this will be stuck in your head for days and make you play the shit out of Slackjaw alone. 2 minutes per song is all that Atom Driver need to do justice, and justice they do.
Title track, Slack Jaw, is just as good with a beefy rhythm and solid chorus. The sound is almost like what I feel that To My Surprise should have sounded like, if they didn’t just mellow out on the majority of their album. Knives In follows on well with the music, but from here on, I feel like the wow factor about Atom Driver sort of drifts away.
Don’t get me wrong, Slackjaw is packed with some great riffs and guitars, and the drums consistently hold a killer beat to back everything up, but the EP kicks things off with such an infectious, upbeat manner that by the time Best Defence has closed, despite it being a great song in its own right, you almost feel like you missed half of what you just listened to.
In essence, Slackjaw simply falls victim to its track ordering. I can’t fault any song on the album, it just started off with its two best and most memorable songs. If any of these were to crop up in a shuffled playlist, I’m confident to say they wouldn’t be skipped past.
Straight to the point, Slackjaw in actuality kicks some serious dick, and I would love to hear more from these guys. It’s just a shame that it is one of those albums that suffers from the best songs hitting first. Honestly, I wouldn’t re-order them, because they flow so well. But don’t let that put you off from buying the EP, because seriously, this is the shittest excuse for a complaint ever. Slackjaw is awesome and anyone who likes punk, hardcore, and any style of hard rock in between needs to get this. Hence, I’m not letting such a minor negative affect my overall opinion.
Jake Hancke – 07/02/2017
Slackjaw is available to buy now from Bandcamp. It is also available to buy digitally on iTunes and the Google Play Store.