Atomic Bitchwax Boxriff

There’s a comfortable, laidback atmosphere to Boxriff that just reinforces the fact that when boogie metal is done properly, it has the same calming effect as a thousand hand jobs… it’s just never as pretty. In comparison to their catalogue, Boxriff is clearly the most accessible work Atomic Bitchwax have created. Yet this works entirely to their benefit. Nothing here feels put on, as can be the case in a genre where the more pot you seem to smoke and the more fried you look, the better. Instead, Boxriff finds the band actually escaping that brain-dead vibe, delving into stronger writing territory with subtle, understated but catchy riffs that meander off into jazzy territory without disenchanting. Pulling it back just in time to make the listener’s ears perk up, the band shift back into lush harmonies that ride incredibly smoothly over the muddy guitars and that inevitable Fu Manchu-styled Orange tone. It almost feels as if these guys have managed to work a childhood love of Dark Side of the Moon into a reinterpretation of Black Sabbath’s Sabotage. Strange as that sounds, it means solid grooves and smooth — almost stylish — heaviness. (Meteorcity)