Atom and His Package: Making Love

Atom and His Package
Making Love
No Idea

HOWEVER YOUNG OR old Atom Goren might be, anyone who refers to Taco Bell as a "restaurant" has his finger on the pulse of smart-assed suburban teendom. The Oreland, Pennsylvania, native with local ties revives the speedy, cartoonish punk of pre-growing-pains Bis and pre-college Descendents with a pop bounce courtesy of his cheap Yamaha sequencer, a.k.a. "The Package." Compiling a bunch of the one-man-band's seven-inch EPs, Making Love is an exhausting listen--music this unrelentingly goofy is best approached a handful of songs at a time. But a surprisingly large amount of it sticks, from the conceptual coup "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad Lib" to the surprisingly affecting awkwardness of the rite-of-passage ditty "He Kissed Me."

There's also some amusing special pleading for Enya, as in, "I'm willing to do anything/I'll be her slave/There's only one word difference in 'new age' and 'new wave.'" There are kind words for the metric system: "Nine millimeters sounds cooler than my .3-something-inches gun.../Canadians will think we're smart/Or at least not as dumb." Other subjects mounted include Jewish Christmases ("We go to the movies and eat Chinese food") and Judas Priest singer Rob Halford's coming out ("Statistics say chances of being gay are one in ten/That means there's a 40 percent chance that one of the guys in Pantera likes men"). Badly needed.

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