The New Jersey groove metal trio celebrates beyond the twenty year mark of TAB with the band’s eighth full-length studio album, Scorpio.
I became acquainted with The Atomic Bitchwax segue Monster Magnet. Indeed the current line-up of Chris Kosnik, Garrett Sweeny, and Bob Pantella all play in Monster Magnet now, too. TAB material is different, though, being more jam-like, bluesy, and improvisational-feeling…and with a lot more lead guitar work than Monster Magnet.
The first TAB album came out in 1999, and the second was released the following year. For some time after that, commitments to other bands and a little line-up shuffling lead to an irregular recording schedule. But in 2015 there was Graviton, and in 2017 there was Force Field, and now there is Scorpio.
The new album is ten meaty cuts, starting with a reworking of one of the band’s earliest songs, “Hope You Die.” The new version has a fuller sound with the treble dialed down a mite. The groove metal is on full display from beginning to end. I have always had a soft spot for instrumentals and we get three this time: “Ninja,” “Crash,” and “Instant Death.” Damn can they rip out a jam! Could-be radio songs are there, too, like “Easy Action” – “Let’s get some satisfaction / Any kind of easy action.” I hear you. And “Super Sonic.” And “Betting Man.” This is rock and roll as far as I am concerned. One of the weirdest things about my life in music is I have never seen TAB live. I am all about fixing that. Wherever they are at next, I will be in the front row.
Scorpio is out on Friday, August 28th from Tee Pee Records at all the usuals. There is no way I can recommend this as much as it deserves and as much as I want. Go get it now. Highest recommendation.