Nick Johnston is a beautiful man. I’m not sure if “Atomic Rock” is actually a genre recognized by humans, but it certainly does describe Nick’s songwriting and general style *salute General Style* (How I Met Your Mother Reference. Don’t sue me). Best part of “atomic rock” is that it doesn’t really make any sense. Atomic stems from the Greek “atomos,” meaning “indivisible.” Rock, from “rock n roll,” meaning “let’s bang,” was punned into the Earth formation, which morphed to “metal,” which is “heavier,” atomically speaking, but also considered “larger than life” or “exaggerated” in its performance/production, so to call a genre of “Rock” “atomic” is an insurmountable wave of punnery, or punnage, if you will, that truly is an Atomic Mind… fun. What? Onward!
To call this album an “instrumental rock guitar” album is misleading. Sonically, it ranges way, way beyond “Rock.” The title track “Atomic Mind” begins with tonality that one might associate with the major resolution tonality you’d find in a sci-fi movie about outer space or unexplained natural phenomena, driven by an acoustic guitar, gradually morphing into a raw, outlaw onslaught of power chords.
I know Nick is from the Canada Lands, but there’s something American Southern (almost Western?) about some of his guitar writing on this album, but mix that steamy jambalaya with some beautiful fret board ice skating… and yeah, I guess that is pretty Canada Land, those brilliant, sneaky Canucks.
“Last Deals of Dead Men”‘s defining riff played in unison really makes you feel like a man who’s about to sink his teeth into some succulent meat that was just rounded up on the ranch. Euphemism? You tell me.
Something about Nick’s writing on this album feels familiar. I’m not sure whether it’s the tonality or some of the melodic sequences, but a lot of it really triggered my nostalgic gag reflex. Some of the memories were of sweet high school romance while others of inner struggles… the catch being, there are no lyrics on this album. Nick makes YOU dig up these buried chests of suppressed emotional treasure. Nick Johnston – Guitar Psychologist.
Oh, and as expected, Nick’s virtuoso playing is tastefully woven into all of the melodic phrasing, some of the most creative fret acrobatics I’ve heard… ever. The guitar wailing is powerful enough to make Orpheus give up guitar. #epic
01. Atomic Mind
02. Ghost Of The Robot Graveyard
03. Last Deals Of Dead Men
04. Silver Tongued Devil (feat. Guthrie Govan)
05. Out Of The Wasteland
06. Wonderful Madness
07. Ultra Force
08. Scoundrel’s Lounge
09. Lost In a Dream
10. My Final Days On a Doomed Planet
Run Time: 54:33
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Check out the album ‘Atomic Mind’