Beach Riot’s new album Sub Atomic Party Cool has been three years in the making and I suspect a large percentage of the time was spent trying to find a studio that was reinforced enough to handle the thousand-hurricane ferocity of their sound. Even if you drank a case of Red Bull, got naked, covered yourself in honey, hit a wasps nest with a big stick, ran like the clappers being pursued by an angry swarm, jumped onto a Ducati Panigale, drove at 203 mph to a rocket where you were fired into the heavens to dock with a space station full of puppies it would still not be as exciting as this album.
I can hands down say that, alongside Low’s Hey What, Sub Atomic Party Cool is one of the most breath-taking releases of 2021. From the opening bombardment ‘B.A.D.’, Beach Riot deploy high-low riffs with laser-guided precision. Song after song gets flambéed with firestorm chords, lacerating bass from Jim and TAF drums from Jonny. There may be only two guitarists in the band, Rory and Cami, but on tracks like ‘Wrong Impression’, ‘Good To Know’, ‘Medicate For Success’ or ‘She’s A Hurricane’ it sounds like a phalanx of players equipped with army-grade fuzz pedals. Previous single release, ‘Blush’, is stratospherically brilliant and was one of my favourite tracks of 2020 with its killer opening riff, sweet-you-eat-between-meals tune, and a blistering mid-point wig out.
Only on ‘Unrequited Love’ do we get a cool down to let your adrenal gland restock before the Mick Ronson-like opening riff of ‘Faze’ kicks in. Across all the tracks there’s a feeling of the Mamas and Papas channelling Black Sabbath at light speed and this album could make walkers become joggers and joggers become sprinters. When the members of Beach Riot come together they create a new elemental force, something akin to the G-Force team in 70s anime series Battle of the Planets where they join up and become a fiery phoenix.
Sub Atomic Party Cool is a glam-bam-thank-you-ma’am triumph that captures all the energy of Ziggy and the swagger of Iggy. It’s a stack-heeled, rambunctious, full-tilt, joyous thrill-ride and I wouldn’t be surprised if, in 30 years’ time, people will be jumping around a wedding disco to ‘Blush’ in the same way they do when they hear ‘Town Called Malice’, ‘Love Shack’ or ‘The Jean Genie’.
Beach Riot 2021 UK Sub Atomic Party Cool Tour Dates:
24 – Milton Keynes – Craufurd Arms
25 – Newcastle – Head of Steam
26 – Inverness – Mad Hatters
27 – Glasgow – The Hug & Pint
30 – Edinburgh – Sneaky Pete’s
1 – Manchester – Gullivers
2 – Liverpool – Jimmy’s
3 – Leeds – Hyde Park Book Club
4 – Blackpool – Bootleg Social
7 – Sheffield – Record Junkee
8 – Leicester – The Cookie
9 – Birmingham – Dead Wax
10 – Bristol – The Lanes
11 – Guildford – The Boileroom
14 – Norwich – Voodoo Daddy’s
15 – London – The Lexington
16 – Brighton – The Prince Albert
Review by Paul F Cook