Let's just get this out of the way: I have no idea what the hell Manny Reyes
is singing on "Strike Zone." Not that it really matters. Reyes' band Atole
has been a constant in Portland's electronic music scene for going on four years now, leaving a trail of sweat and tired feet wherever it plays. The vocals in "Strike Zone" are not intended for you to sit and ponder over—they are meant to freak you out on the dancefloor.
Atole has gone through a few versions of "Strike Zone" over the years, but this is the definitive one: fast, live, and kinda punk. Where the band used to rely on sequencers and drum machines, it now features an absolutely killer rhythm section (Jacob Soto on drums, Marius "Copy" Libman on bass) that just slays on this one. As Reyes chants and hollers, his floating vox are supported by the steady thump of Libman's bass and some spastic, rapid-fire drums. If this is Atole's version of dance punk, then I can only imagine what it would do with krautrock.
Atole releases the Strike Zone 7-inch on Saturday, June 12 at Backspace with fellow BNB member Operative and Astrology opening up. The release is limited to 300 copies, cut 45rpm thick, and features exclusive instrumental synth-punk track "Dirty Bird" on the b-side. Plus, the packaging includes rad pop-up art by David Chandler!
Photo by C. J. Levine