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ATOMICA gears up for final local show

By Miranda Lorenc
On April 24, 2014

Local alternative rock band ATOMICA will celebrate its two-year anniversary, its debut album and hold its final local show Saturday at The Factory Pizzeria at 9 p.m.

The band was founded in Logan by USU student and lead guitarist Nikolai Croft, USU alumnus and bass player Francisco Herrero and drummer Steve Cook. They said they were looking to add the rock ‘n’ roll genre in the list of local bands.

“ATOMICA is an upbeat rock punk band that has taken on a funkier sound as time has gone on,” said Ryan Cannon, a junior going into drawing and painting. “They are the loudest band I have seen in Logan, in my opinion.”

Fans of the classics like Nirvana, Bad Religion and Rancid, members of ATOMICA enjoy playing their music loudly with meaning and purpose behind their lyrics.

“I try to play music that means something more than a work of art or a message,” said Croft, a senior majoring in psychology. “It's something beyond that. Nothing’s better than seeing your music affect the lives of those around you.”

Thier list of songs includes titles like “Tuition is too Damn High,” “King Kong” and “Serenity Now.” “Stupid People are Taking Over” is a favorite among the band’s fans and is one of the few songs that has been filmed as a music video.

They also do covers of songs by the Beastie Boys, who they like to style their music after.

“Their lyrics are pretty funny, especially if you know who they’re about,” said Alex Phillips, a senior majoring in marketing.

Their first album, produced by Shane Harris at Ash Studios, debuts this week. It will feature 11 tracks and costs $10. So far, they have recorded 19 songs total and another five or six are unreleased.

“Almost all of our songs consist of some sort of crowd vocal section. I sometimes feel like a cheerleader getting everybody to sing along,” Croft said.

ATOMICA’s performances are full of high energy and enthusiasm, Croft said. They once had a few friends dress up as pirates during a show for one of their songs.

What makes their show so entertaining, Cannon said, was “the way they interact with the crowd and the long solos from everybody in the band, especially Nik.”

Before ATOMICA, band members Cook and Croft played with different bands. Croft played in a group called Upcollar$ while Cook played with The Chucks. They met through shared venues and were good friends by the time they met Herrera, who put out a Facebook post looking for others interested in starting a punk band.

“We got along great. Everything fell into place almost seamlessly,” said Herrera, who graduated in 2011 with his bachelor’s degree in liberal arts.

Their first show at Burt’s Tiki Lounge was about a month after they formed the group. After that, they were playing four or five shows a month until work and school started to get in the way. Now they only play a couple times a month.

“It was nerve-racking at first,” Herrera said. “Now we've played the songs so much that it's smooth sailing, and we have a pretty tight sound.”

Two years after their first performance, the members of ATOMICA are moving on to new projects. Croft will be attending graduate school, while Herrera and Cook will be playing for another local punk band, The Cotton Ponies.

“It'll definitely be bittersweet,” Herrera said. “We've put everything into this project for the past two years, so it'll be weird once it's finished.”

ATOMICA is planning on doing one last tour in the Chicago/Milwaukee area this summer before they officially split up, but their last show in Logan is the one on Saturday night. Admission is free.

“If you like punk music, shredding guitar solos and a crazy front man, you’ll like ATOMICA,” Phillips said.

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