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Black Atom / Radio Lucifer / Dear John Review

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Ah, my first post.

I got a bit bored so i decided to write a short revew of the bands playing at Drummonds on Tuesday. I have never before written a review, so i don't know if there is an ettiquette, but i have tried to be as polite as possible....just a bit of lunchtime fun.....and i've just realised that i've ended each one on a negative point. D'oh, i didn't mean to!

Dear John

Having been a long-time friend and follower of this band [hi Paul], Ill try to make this as objective as possible.

Kicking off the night, they certainly woke up the crowd with a LOUD show. Right from the outset, it is obvious that this band are influenced by industrial music and are sample-a-holics, and the samples really give the band another dimension and help fill out the space with music. The combination of electronics, slower-paced guitar work and bursts of HEAVY HEAVY music - led by a drummer who hits the drums with the ferocity of a the tazmanian devil on cocaine is interesting and can almost make the whole room shake at times.

The mix was excellent, particularly with vocals (as it was throughout the night. Well done to the sound guy). Vocals is a department which Dear John are excellent in, with the lead singer, having a deep, angst-ridden voice, backed up by an equally capable singer on the bass, working to good effect when used together.

To liken their music to other bands, Nine Inch Nails is an obvious influence and they also draw inspiration from The Cure (apparently). However, its impossible to pigeonhole them, as they are fairly unique in their sound. So of you like slightly electronicy, introspective, but heavy music, this band is worth a look. NB also suitable for mis-understood Gothsyaaayyyy!

This was the bands first performance for a long while and, unfortunately it was painfully obvious as there were three clear blunders, two from the singer/guitarist and one real howler from the drummer.at least it made them smile! However they recovered well, and managed to pull off an excellent, if slightly understated performance.

Dear John are clearly very good songwriters and are a band with potential, but its equally apparent that they need to put the hours in to have a much tighter live act.


Radio Lucifer

Radio Lucifer: even the name is so ridiculous its good. Which is much like the band itself. They took to the stage and immediately seemed like a seasoned Rock n Roll band, heavy low-slung guitars and a vocalist (I cant quite bring myself to say singer) with a great 80s attitude and bursting with confidence. Even with fairly basic riffs and chord progressions, they had very well-written and well-structured songs, good solos, and a great tone to boot. There were some parts where even Rodney from Gene Simmons Rock School would foot-tap to. The obvious comparison is GnR, Velvet Revolver or BLS, but there are also some subtle hints of modern emo-rock in there (eg Funereal for a Friend). Unfortunately Im not one for remembering song titles / lyrics, but I do remember hearing God Damn being shouted a lot and thinkingthis is so ridiculous its good [again]. Despite the talented lead guitarist and vocalist quite rightly battling for the limelight, the drummer was in danger of stealing the show with little moments of HEAVY magic conjured up from behind the kit.

This band would have the potential to be very good, but for one important factor vocals, either lead or back-up. The vocalist is a wiry, audacious and entertaining character and seems to have everything a rock star should have (even excellent mutton chops), except the ability to truly sing like a star. His screamy style does work well sometimes but, at other times, can also hold back an otherwise great tune.

However, this band are entertaining and are certainly worth a look if you're after some good old fashioned RAWK, but if they are going to progress, it seems that more practice needs to be put in to polish up the vocals.


Black Atom

Having never seen this band before, but having heard and read great things about them, I was prepared to be blown away by the greatest unsigned metal band Id ever seen. Admittedly, these are very high expectations to live up to, but unfortunately Black Atom fell considerably short of them. This is not a reflection on their ability or entertainment value though, just the music that they play. Great guitar harmonies on THREE axes, feet on the monitors, soaring vocals and fast solos its quite clear where Black Atom get their inspiration from: Iron Maiden. This is a great style of music, but I didnt quite feel that they had a stand-out song or that X factor [sigh] that a band like this needs in order to progress.

The band were clearly disappointed with being brought forward at short notice to make time for the film, which meant many of their fans missed their show. However, that didnt stop them from giving it their all, with the little ball of energy singer running around the whole venue singing, gesturing, and generally making people smile great talent to have. Kudos also goes to one of the guitarists who swung around so much that he was in danger of taking off. Im not sure how prominent his playing actually was in the mix, but great stage presence is as good as turning it up to 11.

With almost flawless performances from all members (despite the first part of the gig being tarnished by a farty bass), this band has talent in bucketloads and are well worth a few quid to see, but they have one major thing going against them The worlds need for Iron Maiden is diminishing, so unless major retro-metal revival, there doesnt seem to be much room for Black Atom beyond the local scene.


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what a thoroughly excellent review! Ignoring the actual content (as I play in one of the bands so can't really comment on your opinions), it is objectively written with subjectivity in mind - as well as being critical in a positive way. Excellent stuff, there should be more people writing reviews like this - thank you!

check me, I'm reviewing a review - haha.

9/10 ;)

Playing in black atom myself - I didn't think it was a particularly good set for us, although got a lot better towards the end. Enjoyed the night though - always a pleasure to play with otehr good bands as well :up:

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Thanks for taking the time out to do a review man :D That gig turned out a lot better for us than we thought it would and I pretty much agree with your thoughts on the gig itself (regarding our performance ).


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