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Atomic Rooster - Atomic Roooster CD (album) cover


Atomic Rooster


Heavy Prog

3.60 | 230 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Sothoth
3 stars The rooster with the hooters in the cube. There's so much meaning to this that I don't even know where to begin, so I'll just stick to reviewing the contents of the music itself. It's proggish, often driving rock with the Hammond as the main melodic instrument and very little guitar playing, occasionally poking its neck out here and there, but mostly dormant. The songs have a nice range of styles to them, with the opener coming across like a keyboard drenched Communication Breakdown, to the depressed ballad entitled "Winter".

Released in 1970, this debut is the first of two efforts released by the band that year, and makes for an interesting example of what a strange transitional time for rock music 1970 was. Here, the earlier incarnation of Atomic Rooster leans a bit towards the late 60s with an almost whimsical vibe concerning some of the music, especially "And So To Bed", which is also one of the more memorable tracks with its groovy time signatures, strong musicianship and funky lyrics ("all you need is sex with fame". I can live with that). The lack of guitars gives the songs a bit of incomplete feel for me personally at times (lack atomic- ness I guess) that dates the music a bit. Without guitar wailings getting in the way, Carl gets to really strut his stuff throughout every song, including a busy snare-happy drum solo in "Decline And Fall". The vocal histrionics suit the bluesier tunes, with Nick acting all wide- eyed at times, tossing in a rare flute solo when needed. Vincent's playing is sort of an Emerson/Jon Lord hybrid, with emphasis towards Lord in style and attitude. Honestly, this band really needed a loud guitar to complete the picture, in which the US release versions found on the recent CD reissue shows. I prefer those versions to the originals.

If the music leans a bit towards the late 60s in overall attitude, the lyrics are more firmly planted in 1970. A bleak and uncertain outlook, combined with a raunchy demeanor that foreshadows 70s hard rock gives the album a bit of uniqueness in addition to the constant drum barrages.

By the end of this odd pivotal year, the band would sound much different than they do here, with their next album having one foot firmly planted in 1971, the year hard rock (and prog to an extent) became a monolith industry.

Prog Sothoth | 3/5 |


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