Atomic Swindlers

July 2005 PRESS

Wham, Bam, Thank You Glam
Fancy-pants glitter bands from Detroit, Canada, and upstate remember their forefathers
by George Smith

The Village Voice
July 28th, 2005

Credit the notices doled out to T. Rex disciplesLouis XIV for a reason to drag out old glam records. And then, once Slade and Mott the Hoople sides have been worked through again, it's nice to have new things to consider. Since glitter and glam are always in style somewhere, the task of finding good material is easy

Take, for instance, the very best in a fine bunch, Coming Out Electric by Atomic Swindlers from upstate New York. Guitar rave-ups stud lush pop tunes sung by April Laragy, who dresses in a blue vinyl suit and silver boots. Reclining in a drainpipe for the cover, she's supposed to be a mix between Barbarella and Samurai Jack, although you may think a bit of Debbie Harry. "Jupiter's falling," she sings, and it's reminiscent of Be Bop Deluxe's Modern Music—which means nothing to many, so think of it as a high point in orchestral rock melody. Also hot: the "Hang Onto Yourself" riff filched for "Diamond Dreamers."

It's hard to tell if Atomic Swindlers are really doing a rock opera about spacebiker lesbian stargirls in love, or just writing good hooks and hanging them on exotic thigh-rubbing imagery to get attention. The drummer is a college professor and is also the producer, delivering a knob job that's sonically Alan Parsons-engineered Pink Floyd-y. Doubtless, no one in their Rochester home must know what to make of it: atom airships crashing into the bay, every day, if you know what I mean. And I think you do.



Coming Out Electric
Atomic Swindlers

Review by Chris S. Witwer

The Atomic Swindlers' new release Coming Out Electric is an intergalactic concept album featuring the sexually-charged vocals of former cow punk singer April Laragy. Every song on Coming Out Electric touches on science fiction or space themes, and there are quite a few homoerotic underpinnings.

How could you not love an album with a track called “Intergalactic Lesbian Love Song”? The Rochester, NY based Atomic Swindlers are an out of this world phenomenon with a cosmic groove, a hip spacey sound, celestial lyrics, and a hot front woman oozing sex – not to mention her space-themed guitar decorated in the art car tradition.

Coming Out Electric is heavy with retro 70’s beats, stunning melodic guitars, edgy glam rock, and an out-of-this-world sound thanks to Chris Yockel’s sitar work, wah wah, and Fender super reverb tremolo. Scott Ostrowski (guitars, vocals) makes the underlying rockabilly happen, and Roy Stein (drums, guitar, vocals) pens a number of songs on the disc.

For the album, Atomic Swindlers also brought in Brian Eggleston on piano and additional keyboards. The group even snagged former Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra concertmaster and current neighbor of Laragy and Stein, Howard Weiss for violin tracks on “Float (my electric stargirl” and “Underground Love.”

But April Laragy seems to be the rising star here. She wrote four of the album’s songs herself, sings those crazy-infectious lead vocals, plays keyboards and acoustic guitar, and puts her face (and legs and breasts and ass… for that matter) out there. She’s almost outrageous with her space costumes, funky pistol, and stark white hair.

Laragy is not alone—think David Bowie in his Ziggy Stardust period. Time-traveling to the days when bands told stories with their music, Atomic Swindlers will make you think of the Beatles while sounding terribly modern even as they pull in influences such as Iggy Pop, Blondie, Joan Jett and vocally, some early Stefani.

The band’s upbeat musical style shouldn’t be allowed to overshadow its darker lyrical message, however — listen closely. Notable tracks include “Diamond Dreamer,” “Underground Love” and “Stars in my Pocket,” as well as “Sex66” with its edgy, driving rock and fantastic lyrics:

You know the space
that lies between a bullet and its mark
Well I own that place
and honey that's where I'll hang your heart

The enhanced CD contains the "Float" video, which was deservedly well-received when it debuted at the ImagineOut Festival and has so far been accepted for screenings at five film festivals. It’s a video you’ll have to see to believe. It’s a Jetsons-meets-South-Park-meets-Anime depiction of a story about a sleek hot babe searching the galaxy for her grrl—who also happens to be a sleek hot babe in need of rescue. The two ride off on a chopper wrapped around each other in a girl-on-girl moment rarely seen in a music video - animated or not.

Coming Out Electric is already receiving wide priaise by’s Sound Space, Spike Magazine and various other web sites and publications. The Atomic Swindlers have launched this debut album with a sonic boom. Percussionist Roy Stein’s song, “Float” made it to the top 20 nationally on XM Satellite Radio’s unsigned band station.

Coming Out Electric is available through CDBaby and at Tower Records.





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