A musical safari of howling blues, psychedelic comic book soundtrack and bone-crunching rock, Heroes, Villains, Boom Boom Boom! is an accomplished debut, filled with skilled musicianship and the growling vocals of Major Tom.

If Major Tom & The Atoms’ debut album proves one thing, it is this: there has been some good to come out of Little Red’s demise.

Tom Hartney, the keyboardist and vocalist in Little Red, dons the moniker of Major Tom and leads his Atoms with a voice as dark as tarmac and twice as rough. He will immediately be recognised by anyone who has heard him before. Hartney tears open the album with ‘Bloodhound’, a track so thick with the blues you could swim in them. The racing beat of ‘Boom Boom Boom’ and bouncing organ and bass line of ‘Confusion’ keep the album moving along and buzzing to its own pulse.

The album is also full of social satire, with lyrics that deal with the dreams of grandeur and making it big, like in ‘Chasing Rainbows’: “Back in the factory where dreams are made and sold / Some folks are cashing in their happiness for gold / Trading tomorrow for the here and now”.

The album closer ‘Every Little Monkey’ delves into the fantasy of escaping the everyday grind by becoming rich and famous, labelling it more of a delusion: “Life on the stage might look like a rage / But when the curtain’s drawn you must return to your cage / Life in a band might look very grand / But when the show is over you’re alone with your hand.

4/5 stars


Heroes, Villians, Boom Boom Boom!is out now independantly

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