Alpha Sounds

by Atombombpocketknife

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10 tracks, 40 minutes. Debut full-length from Chicago band built on 'unrock' foundations.

Atombombpocketknife formed around the trio of Justin Sinkovich, Allison Hollihan and David Burns in 1997 and toured regionally before releasing a 7 inch (File 13 Records) and then a 10 inch on Southern in 1999. Their debut full-length, Alpha Sounds, was released in 2000. Following this the group toured with Man or Astro-Man?, Pinback, and Judah Johnson. A sophomore album, God Save The ABPK, was issued in 2001, the first on which Che Arthur appeared. Near the end of that same year, drummer Matt Espy (who had joined in 1999) left the group and was replaced by former Sterling drummer Tony Lazzara. Their third and final album was released on File 13 in 2004; the group disbanded in 2005.

As Nineties media finally disintegrated rock and roll, cultural and social stagnation seemed imminent. Fortunately in the Autumn of 1997, ex Thumbnail guitarist/vocalist Justin Sinkovich and drummer David Burns took refuge under the moniker Atombombpocketknife with other Chicago resident, Allison Hollihan. Becoming the principal catalyst in creating "Unrock" - the deconstruction of traditional rock principles, then reconstruction of future templates for the new rock and roll renaissance - Atombombpocketknife's mission became crystal. David has since left the band, but luckily drummer Matt Espy had moved to Chicago and ABPK was his undeniable future.

Alpha Sounds is the band's debut full length recorded at Greg Norman's studio on the south side of Chicago during November 1999. Alpha Sounds builds on the unrock foundations laid down by their previous six-tracker adding perhaps a dash of dirty car-crash rock to their angular atonal pop twistings.

Explain Alpha Sounds?! That's asking for a glass boat in a black river, a source of direction to an infinitely bottomless and obtuse diagram. Alpha Sounds is an equation with more variables than letters in the Greek alphabet. "Alpha" = the first Greek letter, a charged particle spanning the music knowledge of the overexposed and previously unfulfilled salient points. "Sounds" = the effect of tones from vibrations in the air around us - sonic manipulations from the manipulated. The following is a conceptual answer to the turnkey question, "manipulated by what?", with an incomplete explanation of sources leading to the social conditioning of: Allison and Justin and Matt = Atombombpocketknife.


released June 1, 2000


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Southern Records London, UK

Fiercely independent since forever, Southern Records has a musical pedigree which stretches way back to 1977, when a band called Crass was founded (and proceeded to change punk & the world forever...but that's another story). For years Southern operated as a recording studio & the biz wheels behind labels like Crass, Corpus Christi, Bluurg & Dischord, before launching an eponymous imprint in 1991 ... more

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