Friday, October 28, 2022

30 Amp Fuse - Saturday Night at the Atomic Speedway LP


Dedicated (1997)

I have had this on CD since it came out in 1997.  Whatever label Dedicated is, it was either distributed by or owned by BMG.  As you can imagine, promo CDs of this flowed like water.  A true cut out bin champion if there ever was one.  I got my copy for review when I was writing for my college newspaper.  I've always been partial to 90s major label guitar pop bands.  And while 30 Amp Fuse definitely fits into that category, there's just enough grit in the vocals that things remain kind of punk rock for most of the album.

Where the record isn't punk rock is the production.  It's super slick and glossy with the guitars sounding crunchy, but weirdly perfect.  It's one of the more unique guitar tones I've heard.  And not that it's bad, it's just oddly clinical at times.  Vocally, there's certainly a bit of a Social Distortion, greaser sort of rasp going on here.  But in general the vocals are way more melodic and singer Mike Smithers definitely knows his way around a hook.

Was picking this up on vinyl a totally mandatory purchase?  Would my collection have been incomplete without it?  No, I would have been fine only having my promo CD from '97.  But it's a fun record with some really catchy tunes.  I probably won't listen to it a ton, but I will every once in a while and I'm glad it'll be in the collection when the mood strikes.

30 Amp Fuse - Saturday Night at the Atomic Speedway:

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