Rarely does a band capture the raw essence of its heroes like the Atomic Missiles does. Black Flag. Nirvana. Pixies. They're all entrenched inside the Missiles' mainline rock 'n' roll dart. Are Real, the NJ/NY group's sophomore effort, lays it all out in garage ambience. "1999" is the best balls-to-the-wall blast I've heard this year. "California" is Squirrel Bait's "Tape from California" slower sibling. The album's track flow is dismal -- one minute your blood's rolling; the next, only your foot taps -- but once the Atomic Missiles zero in on a direction and drop their gimmicks, they could very well find themselves in places they never knew existed.
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