CD Reviews 10 Feb 2007

Flat Atom Flux cover art


(2007   Self-Release)

Flux, the latest release by Madison’s industrial metal band, Flat Atom, opens with a synthesizer intro, which has an almost classical feel to it. But don’t let that fool you. This electronic sounding collection of eleven songs, produced by The Thump at Recluse Studios in Madison, relies heavily on sound samplings, and features low-tuned buzzing guitars and a raspy, biting production.

Flat Atom refers to themselves as Nick Seward as the Presence, The Thump is the Feedbacker/Bit Biter, Pete “Spank” Pagel is the Low-end Replicator and Trever Hawley is the Propulsion. Their newest member, DJ Puzzle, provides additional samples, synthetic percussion and programming. With Flux, their first full-length release, the band stays true to their name by flattening everything in their path from start to finish.

Their most relentless track would have to be “Lies,” which sounds to me like something Rob Zombie could have come up with.  Nick’s vocals remind me of a younger, angrier Alice Cooper, especially in the song, “Hollow.” The highlight of the CD in my opinion is “Bleeds Me Dry,” which sounds a bit like Ozzy Osbourne with a heavy Led Zeppelin beat. Featuring strong vocals, “Bleeds Me Dry,” let’s the band shine through the sampling, and brings home the metal. I liked the funky feel of “Brighter,” and the simplicity of “Lidocaine.” All in all, if electronic metal is what you’re after, Flat Atom won’t let you down, although they might crush you. 

Flat Atom’s intense live show legacy includes three broken stages, nine broken sound systems, one police report and one million angry soundmen scattered across the upper Midwest. Now if they’ve really pissed off that many soundmen, I’d say they have a bright future ahead of them!

What really says it all is their hilarious band description: Flat Atom-the band that makes you shake your ass, while you beat your buddies in the pit. We’ve been described thusly: “Instead of sitting in a closet and crying while saying ‘fuck you,’ as so many modern rock bands do, Flat Atom screams ‘Fuck You!’ at the top of their lungs, then steals your car and goes to Mexico.” They also claim to put the punk back into industrial punk. I would have to say, ‘Hell yeah!’

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