If you're not already hip to The Bitchwax, this 7-track collection from Monster Magnet Ed Mundell's other band will make a confirmed believer out of you. Everything in this package works cohesively to stoke retro fires: the Wes Benscoter cover design with its gorgeous black nude, a tip of the hat to Miles Davis' Bitches Brew and the original, censored cover to Hendrix's Electric Ladyland; the tightly-knit blues-rock jams that explode into searing, asteroid-dodging interstellar journeys; and last but not least, the AC/DC cover that opens the album, "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap," faithful down to Bon Scott's leering yowl of "high voltage!"
The muse informing Spit Blood is the Jimi Hendrix of "Red House" -- leads are fast, supple and raucous; tons of echo and feedback rise off the guitars and drums. "Cold Day in Hell" builds on a sturdy, Zeppelinesque riff, meanders into a drum break straight out of the soundtrack to the Spanish horror franchise "Knights of the Blind Dead", then cuts its tempo by half for a smeary cosmic ride. The title track "Spit Blood" sounds like a space trawler from the bayou by way of Morocco, with its serpentine loops and murky progress spinning off from "Voodoo Chile." "Black Trans-Am" mates the burblings of Hawkwind with a too-high-to-drive vocal.
Honoring the contributions of Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Leslie West and Hendrix, The Atomic Bitchwax adds its own page to the heritage of psychedelic blues, creating music for its own sake, with integrity and joy in the performance. Plus, a multimedia documentary and a free second disk sampling Meteor City artists makes this a great deal for the buck.