The Atomic Fireballs

Torch This Place
(Lava/Atlantic)

This Detroit band found some success in the swing revival of the late '90s, even though they were really an eight-piece jump blues band. They had the horn blasts and boogie beats to steal Cherry Poppin' Daddies fans, and the good sense to make their second (and last) album, Torch This Place, one of the last great records of the '90s. Every track on here oozes swingin' grooves, smokin' piano solos, screaming saxes, and voodoo mojo, as singer John Bunkley (who was sort of like a black, bald Tom Waits) growls and screams through songs like "Caviar and Chitlins" and "Drink Drank Drunk." Most of the tunes are straight-up high energy and hellfire (check out the manic mood of "Swing Sweet Pussycat"), but the true gems here are the smoky, bluesy ballads, like "Lover Lies" and "Starve a Fever."

 
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