The jangly opening guitar of “Ten Minutes,” the lead track on TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb’s debut LP Idiots, released last year, could be the beginning of an unreleased Johnny Cash rarity. Then comes a stomping kickdrum, some amplifier feedback and a few harmonica puffs. After that, Dan Bruskewicz’s brusque rasp, leading the former trio, now four-piece, through a volatile roots rock venture. Joshua Willis’ upright bass plucking paired with the explosive drumming of Dan Martino turn songs like “The Trail of a Lonesome Hobo” into feel-good, backwoods toe-tappers. There are elements of Dylan, Cash, Waits and Jerry Lee Lewis stewed together, but somehow the end result is none of these. The band has taken their usually drunken, wild live performances all across the nation the past month, and now they’re back home for another for-the-hell-of-it celebration.
Fri., Nov. 18. 9pm. $10. With Psalmships + the Looks of It. North Star Bar, 2639 Poplar St. 215.787.0488. northstarbar.com
PW's Music Issue 2014