ATOM AND HIS PACKAGE
"Attention! Blah Blah Blah"
Adam Goren -- the synth-punk one-man band known as Atom and His Package -- has a gimmick and a zany sense of humor. Frequently, underground-music types with a gambit and some gags think that's enough. But Atom (whose "package" is a cheesy-sounding Yamaha sequencer) doesn't neglect the music. The offbeat and sometimes even confrontational sentiments of his latest album, "Attention! Blah Blah Blah," are boosted by catchy vocal choruses, nifty keyboard riffs and the occasional simple but effective guitar hook.
In the past, Atom has saluted gay heavy-metalists, parodied antisemitic notions of Jewish rituals and denounced the Washington Redskins for retaining their controversial name. This time, the nasal-voiced Pennsylvanian delivers his version of a familiar public service announcement ("Friend, Please Stop Smoking"), attacks anti-Israeli leftists ("The Palestinians Are NOT the Same Thing as the Rebel Alliance, Jackass") and just gets weird ("Does Anyone Else in This Room Want to Marry His or Her Own Grandmother?"). If those tunes sound too complicated, Atom also writes elementary ditties like "Mustache T.V." and "I'm Downright Amazed at What I Can Destroy With Just a Hammer," songs that make a gleeful mess of the legacies of Gary Glitter, the Ramones and Depeche Mode.
-- Mark Jenkins
Appearing Thursday at the Black Cat with Count the Stars. * To hear a free Sound Bite from Atom and His Package, call Post-Haste at 202-334-9000 and press 8108. (Prince William residents, call 703-690-4110.)