TJ Kong & The Atomic Bomb Premiere Rambunctious Single 'John Wilkes Booth'
Philadelphia's TJ KONG & THE ATOMIC BOMB has released their latest cut of Post-Apocalyptic Americana with "John Wilkes Booth", premiering on Glide Magazine. "John Wilkes Booth" is the first single off of the upcoming Dancing out the Door LP, coming out on Friday the 13th of October via Good Behavior Records. TJ Kong & The Atomic Bomb will be playing Dancing out the Door in it's entirety on September 15 at Johnny Brenda's in Philadelphia, with limited edition vinyl available for purchase at the show. You can also grab "John Wilkes Booth" as part of the Good Behavior Records Hurricane Relief Compilation today!
Glide praised the track saying, "While who knows if there is actually a lyrical connection to the man who shot Lincoln, it hardly matters as the smooth vocals complement a down and dirty harmonica... it solidifies TJ Kong & The Atomic Bomb are one of Philly's finest rock and roll attractions."
"John Wilkes Booth" carries out the band's trademark rambunctious energy and fusion of New Orleans big band, Philly garage punk attitude, and americana/blues twang. The song's refrain of "back, back, back, back, to the old days" fittingly conveys the chaotic wild west spirit carried out by the needling, noodly guitar leading into the explosive brass and harmonica of the chorus.
The lead single off of Dancing out the Door carries with it an air of closure for TJ Kong & The Atomic Bomb: The band sees this upcoming release as the third installment in a trilogy that began with their debut record, Idiots. According to Bruskewicz, "Idiots explores folk music, Manufacturing Joy explores garage, delta blues and country, and Dancing out the Door adds horns as well as organ and keys to explore our strange version of New Orleans, the holiest of the holies."
The album begins with the intimate and cinematic intro of "Black Bats" which pushes through into the lunatic party of its chorus. They display a laid-back twang on "Mulholland Drive" before an out-of-this-world quote from Muhammed Ali leads into the animated "California Basement Blues". "Dancing out the Door" displays its strength as the album's namesake through its powerful drunken sing-along sensation. The tracks "Heat Heat Heat" and "Long Black Dress" show off TJ Kong's jazz and garage chops respectively, gearing the album up for it's Herculean New Orleans finish on "Soul Asylum".
The band's notoriety in the much-buzzed-about Philly music scene comes on two strengths: Frontman Dan Bruskewicz's darkly poetic, catchy narratives and a raucous, high energy live show - the likes of which the band was determined to capture in the studio for their third record. Dancing out the Door was recorded to tape over two days at Kawari Sound Studios, enlisting the talents of producer Bill Moriarty (Dr. Dog, Man Man, Ron Gallo) and mastering engineer Joe Lambert. "We recorded the majority of everything you hear live, including vocals," says Bruskewicz. "It's a very freeing way to work, knowing that perfection is out of the question. 'Perfect is dead.' James Taylor told me that once on a very strange evening in Philadelphia."
TJ Kong & The Atomic Bomb was born when Drummer Dan Cask and Bruskewicz met while working at a bar in Philadelphia. The pair bonded over music and ?lm, ?nding common ground in Iggy and the Stooges, Tom Waits, Jim Jarmusch, Johnny Cash, Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch, punk music of all kinds and 90's grunge. From there, the band took off - making a name for themselves with a storied live show that sends people into a dancing delirium. The band's infectious excitement led USA Today to describe them as "One of the most sought after bands in Philly," and landed them a performance at the POP Montreal festivalsupporting well-known Canadian two piece, Japandroids.
In an effort to capture the explosion of angels and demons that Dancing out the Door cultivates, Bruskewicz offers this: "We're excited about what we found. A joyful madness. These songs all have a different story to tell, not the lame story of the band or our records, but real stories of strange humans doing beautiful things and being imperfect. Kaboom"
Photo credit: Neil Santos