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The Atomic Bitchwax: The Local Fuzz (Tee Pee) 

If only it were possible to thrust a copy of New Jersey hard-rock trio The Atomic Bitchwax's fifth and latest full-length album into the hands of every noodle-dancing, grilled-cheese-eating, Phish-bootlegging jam-band fan out there to show them that one needn't play extended jams on electric guitars like a wimp.

The Local Fuzz is packed high and deep with killer riff after killer riff (seriously, there must be hundreds of them here), a veritable post-bong Dagwood of guitar-gasmic splendor ranging from Southern-fried boogie to epic stoner rock to psychedelic heavy metal explorations.

Clocking in at 42 minutes, the completely instrumental Fuzz is a single, relentless, never-pausing-for-air track. To the band's credit, there are no pauses, extended drones or time-filling feedback waves. Instead, it's all about the almighty, up-tempo guitar riff, with full, crisp production courtesy of the Panic Room studio. The rhythm section—Chris Kosnik (bass) and Bob Pantella (drums)—is in perfect lock, stock and smoking barrel, while guitarist Finn Ryan sounds absolutely inspired with every note he frets.

At times, the Bitchwax brings it like ZZ Top; at others, the inspiration seems to spring from Palm Desert legends Kyuss. Regardless, the sheer size and density of this effort requires some time to digest everything. I recommend you crack open this tour de force for a road trip on desert highways.

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