by Fred Mills
As if the title's Can nod isn't enough to tip you to this Japanese trio's '60s/'70s space-rock mojo, proof spins into view on the very first track, "Sympathy For the Junkies," an acid-gobbling instrumental mélange of Hendrixian guitar, sonorous bass and hissing maracas. Sympathy for Spacemen 3, by any other name. Things then quickly kick into fuzz overdrive with "Love Can Bring You Down," which channels the shoegaze nation via a sleek Swervedriver ripoff. And the hits keep coming: "Light Of Love" rams the Stooges through a Hawkwind sieve; "Cracked" turns dreamy and modal, like the Doors' "The End" reinterpreted by Quicksilver Messenger Service (ATP guitarist/ vocalist Tetsuro Kitame reportedly has been called "the Asian Jim Morrison"); and "The Night Porter" plows a groove that's clearly the product of many hours spent listening to the Velvet Underground as if the band's name hadn't clued you in to that already. Now all of this might make it seem like the trio's got nary an ounce of originality. But ATP, as with fellow cosmonauts the Warlocks or the Black Angels, know the difference between imitation and inspiration. The former is a sincere form of flattery but is ultimately ephemeral. The latter, however, is the domain of artistry, and if it means starting with primary colors in order to locate one's jumping-off point, well ... who's gonna argue with some of the musical icons name-checked above primary rock 'n' roll colors, all.
Fred Mills writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to email@example.com.