Burt's Tiki Lounge is dark, dingy and loud. It's pretty much the perfect venue for The Atom Age, the East Bay, California five-piece that likes to keep its rock 'n roll a little dirty.
"Getting the audience horny is definitely an important part of the type of music we play," says guitarist/singer Ryan Perras. The Atom Age, however, is not what you'd call a gentle lover.
The band's garage rock sound is more an audio attack than a romantic swoon. And though the band features the tenor saxophone, there are no slow jams or sexy solos.
"We are really into rock 'n roll from the '50s and early '60s," Perras says. "Having tenor sax was considered pretty much essential back then--it was often more prominent than guitar. It's definitely a homage to that time."
The saxophone is a crucial part of the band's frenetic sound, that gives traditional rock 'n' roll an affectionate punch in the throat. "[The sax] adds dynamics and depth to the sound, as well as a being cooler-sounding alternative to guitar for lead parts," Perras explains. "A screamin' saxophone is just a part of wild rock 'n' roll, and I can't even imagine the band without it."
The band's new record, "The Hottest Thing That's Cool," just hit shelves this week. Perras says the album is purposefully a little rougher around the edges than their debut release, 2011's "Kill Surf City."
"We spent a lot of time touring on that record and really finding what direction we wanted the sound to go in, and we ended up having a very clear picture of what we wanted. For the new album, we worked really hard to make sure every single song was how we envisioned it. I think we can say that every song has The Atom Age sound."
That sound is raspy, raunchy and unrelenting. The band's live performances also follow suit, whipping the crowd into a healthy circle pit. "Screaming 'C'mon Motherfuckers' 500 times only gets ya so far," Perras says. "Just because you take your band seriously doesn't mean you have to be hardcore artists with the weight of the world on your shoulders. It's really criminal to forget about the most important part of rock 'n roll: FUN."
And the band certainly hasn't forgotten about rock 'n' roll's best friend: sex. "I would like to think [our show] is a high energy experience that leaves you sweaty and feeling horny" Perras says, before adding, "but strangely satisfied at the same time."