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Criminally underrated New Jersey trio The Atomic Bitchwax may have lost its most prolific member in Monster Magnet's Ed Mundell, but the band has never sounded leaner, meaner, and ultimately, better. Thanks to the addition of Core main man Finn Ryan, this juggernaut brings new meaning to the term power trio and it's all documented in a few different forms on BOXRIFF. For starters, a tasty four-song studio EP recorded by underground rock guru Jack Endino sets off this 17-track excursion the right way, as "STD" kicks it into high gear from the get-go. Rounded out by the Ryan's former outfit's trademark tune "Kiss The Sun" getting the 'Wax treatment, it'd be enough to stop right here and make this a kick-ass EP, but the group thankfully goes the extra mile. Throwing in 13 live cuts from their Seattle stop and the accompanying DVD of the aforementioned concert, BOXRIFF goes from being solid to essential, especially after hearing white-hot live versions of songs like "Ice Pick Freek" and "The Cloning Chamber". Meaty, gritty, down and dirty, and groovy, bring home this disc and crank it loud and your faith in the lost art of rock 'n roll will be reaffirmed.
- Mike SOS