Former Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet and Heatseekers guitarist Brian Connelly proved he was just as hot and shadowy as ever with the sophomore album from his Atomic 7 project. En Hillbilly Caliente saw Connelly leading drummer Mike Andriosso and electric bassist Mandi Bird [who took over from upright bassist Clinton Ryder between albums] through another heavy dose of 16 swanky, strutting rock tunes infused with swing, surf, country, and rockabilly. Care of Brian's Gretsch White Falcon, whose heavy use provided this record a character distinct from previous projects, the album spiritually followed in the great tradition of legendary instrumentalists Dick Dale, The Tornados, Link Wray, Les Paul, and The Ventures. If nothing else, the cheeky ode "What I Liked About Lord Of The Rings" is guaranteed to make you smile.
Mr. Brian Connelly is keeping the surf guitar instrumental alive with Atomic 7. - Music Emissions
Stripped-down drums and stand-up bass lend themselves quite well to Connelly’s cowpoke exploits and you really can’t touch him when he sits down to the lap-steel guitar. A smiling, upbeat shaker of an album, Connelly’s trademark fret work (and insane song titles) are as good as ever... - FFWD Weekly
Those willing to go down Connelly’s rabbit hole with ...En Hillbilly Caliente will find many sonic rewards. Just remember to play by his rules. - PopMatters
Just like the first album, the quality of the songs never dips, and it's almost surprising how many catchy tunes they can come up with. If you've got a jones for some modern surf/country instros, you can't go wrong with Atomic 7. - allmusic
Atomic 7 come up with 17 different ways to slice the guitar-bass-drums pie, each one sounding distinctive yet hauntingly familiar. - Ink19
Connelly's managed to coax out the intricate guitar nuances he needs to distinguish between the staggering variety of genres, and the thoughtful production, phrasing and dynamics make the tunes speak volumes more than most lyrics-based pop songs. - Now, Toronto