Atomic 7

Gowns by Edith Head

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After Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet broke up, Brian Connelly worked as a hired hand for other artists, including Fred Schneider, but more notably as one of the few "boyfriends" to work on all three Neko Case albums. With Atomic 7 he finally swings back into action in the style that earned him attention in the first place: instrumental surf music that has both a good sense of humor and a lot of reverence for the tradition. Like Shadowy Men, Atomic 7 is also a three-piece combo, featuring Clinton Ryder on bass and Mike Andriosso on drums, and this trio works together every bit as well as Shadowy Men's tight, versatile, and a lot of fun. The biggest problem, if you can call it that, is that all of the songs are so uniformly good that nothing really stands out. If a solid album of surf instrumentals wasn't enough for you, this album also easily wins the Best Song Titles of the Year Award (heck, it would have gotten that for "You Ain't Havin Fun Till You're Dialing 911" alone). If you ever found yourself wishing there had been a few more Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet albums, Gowns by Edith Head will definitely scratch your itch.

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