By Deaglan Howlett | Posted Friday, December 29, 2017
I recently received an email to check out a band by the name of Atom Driver. Without doing any prior research, I went straight to the Bandcamp link and pressed play. The first song that started playing was “Play Dead,” the last song on their latest effort, In the West. Immediately I heard 90’s darlings Drive Like Jehu, and I was pleasantly surprised. I had yet to hear a local band with that sound, and Atom Driver immediately caught my attention.
According to their Facebook page, “Atom Driver is something of a New Brunswick, NJ supergroup. Each member has a distinguished pedigree, associated with many different successful local indie rock, punk, and hardcore outfits. Together, this trio has bundled their deep roots and experience in making music to present a sound both new and simultaneously reminiscent of seminal bands from Barkmarket and Bastro to Fugazi and Drive Like Jehu.”
Before I even found their bio on Facebook, I could hear their influences. However, with these influences they manage to maintain a unique sound that can really only be described as “Atom Driver.” The trio consists of accomplished musicians, using their experiences to create a mature and well-defined sound. Mike Polilli drums for the group, a former Alternative Tentacles recording artist for the group Buzzkill. On bass is Justin Ingstrup, a musician who has played in Doc Hopper, Good, Clean, Fun and projects with members of The Dillinger Escape Plan. Covering guitar and vocals is Mark Segal, singer of Boss Jim Gettys, a beloved indie New Brunswick band. Put together, the group makes blistering, post-punk music that is guaranteed to make the listener nostalgic for Drive Like Jehu and Rocket From The Crypt’s heyday.
However, there is no longer a need for post-punk nostalgia. Instead, you can put on Atom Driver’s latest release, In the West. My personal favorites are “All This and More” and “Play Dead,” but the rest of the EP is full of blistering punk rock. This release is original and a step in the right direction from last year’s demo. I look forward to what is in store from this group. Listen to the album here!