It’s truly fascinating what’s happening in the Greek concert domain (for quite a long time now, indeed) as far as the wide field of heavy / doom / stoner / psychedelic sound and all similar are concerned. In just few weeks – and in Athens only – there have been (or will be very soon) 7-8 live concerts by bands from abroad; everything has gone from good to very good in the matter of attendance! Τhe affordable entry prices have helped in that in most concerts but above all, a great contributor to all this is the fact that there is now a large and loyal audience that supports this specific sound. American Atomic Bitchwax (with a fresh new album in their quiver) weren’t in fact an exception to this pleasant rule, since they managed to fill the favorite live venue of Exarchia in a weeknight.

The Greeks 45 Rats were the opening act. I watched them perform for the very first time, although I had already heard good impressions by others. For the (almost) 35 minutes they filled the stage, they managed to shake most heads located at that time in the venue with their impressive and well played instrumental heavy ‘n’ roll. The sound at first wasn’t much of an ally but towards the end, everything went fine and left us with the best impressions. All three 45 Rats were very good at their tasks but allow me to make a special mention to the guitarist, who’s a great player and put the icing on the cake when during the penultimate track he showed us he can play a solo with a harmonica….! Well done and good luck to the guys!

With some delay, the time had come for the main course of the evening. The Atomic Bitchwax without many games, introduced us to the meaning of their existence right away: ruthless, super groovy and high technical heavy / stoner! With lots of fun and uplifting mood, it didn’t take them long to drift us to their rhythms, but the most impressive of all was the amazing technical training! Many bands of the genre have great musicians but this power trio with two current Monster Magnet members (Chris Kosnik and Bob Pantella) and awesome guitarist Finn Ryan is one of the most special cases, since many times their playing literally reached the borders of progressive, like watching Rush jamming to the sounds of the desert! Most central figure of course was the leader and permanent member from the start, their bassist-singer Chris Kosnik that despite the years he carries on his back (neither the rest are young, to tell the truth) he gave it all, with obvious love to what he serves and much professionalism to what he plays. Drummer Bob Pantella is a real machine with huge skill, while guitarist Finn Ryan with Les Paul and a simple but highly comprehensive pedal set, proved that if you are a talented guitarist, you don’t need any sound tricks to prove it. Moreover, they offered us a “gift” somewhere in the middle; an excellent cover of Pink Floyd’s “One of These Days” and after one hour and ten minutes of incessantly head-banging, The Atomic Bitchwax left the scene within whistles of their instruments and never returned for the traditional encore. Maybe some people wanted the band to play some more tracks or to just come out again, but believe me, the energy and passion they omitted on stage might not be “bearable” for extra time.

‘Another beautiful heavy / stoner night ended at An Club with the help of The Atomic Bitchwax and 45 Rats. Another very good concert pebble was added to the dozens of recent years. Will we see several more in the future? The answer will be given as always by the audience, which for the time being, holds this “fashion” alive and highly thriving…