October 09, 2002

Atom & His Package "Hamburgers"

Well, Mr. Smartass is at it again, makin' silly music for the humorless punk-rock scene. Actually, I'm not hatin' on the man. See, his last album, Redefining Music was a wonderful kick in the pants to his career. See, in my opinion, he was at that "put up or shut up" point in his career, and he showed quite nicely that he was no mere novelty act. If he's continued in his lo-fi humor like his first few records, he could have been rightly dismissed as a one-trick pony. He still could, actually, but I promised I wouldn't be snarky about that.

Kickin' off this little EP is "I Am Downright Amazed At What I Can Destroy With Just a Hammer." Yeah, Atom's rockin' the mundane beat pretty hard on this one, and it's a funny little recollection about his experience with working in his brand new house and the process of, erm, using tools. Yeah, he's that sublime, and it's quite funny, too. It's followed by "Fraudulent," which is a rather oblique little ditty about something Atom's done recently that is rather shady. There are two other songs, one is about disappointment in former heroes, and the other's about the stupid bravado of youth, related to a foolish friend who drove across Africa when he was 19. Hamburgers concludes with a cover of an AM/FM song, the band of Atom's friend/subject matter, Brian Sokol.

Atom's one of those guys who walks the line between clever and stupid, and though I've thought a lot of his earlier stuff was dumb, I've been impressed with his recent work. And, besides, who would you want to smack more, Atom or Conor Oberst? I'll take smart ass over whiny-ass ANY day.

--Joseph Kyle

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