Thursday, October 16, 2014

Nick Oliveri's Uncontrollable-Leave Me Alone

Schnitzel Records

Before we even start with "Leave Me Alone" let's go ahead and establish a quick point of reference just so that we can get it out all of the way. Bassist/guitarist/vocalist Nick Oliveri is primarily known for having spent time with Kyuss (and subsequently Kyuss Lives!), Mondo Generator and of course Queens of the Stone Age. He has also played with the Dwarves and Moistboyz. What's more it is making the rounds that Oliveri is collaborating with the likes of Dave Lombardo (Slayer), Gary Holt (Exodus) and Casey Chaos (Amen) on the soundtrack for the movie documentary "House Of Shock"! So, even if Nick Oliverri is mostly recognized for his contributions to the stoner rock scene this bassist/guitarist/vocalist has seen and done it all. Or at least musically-speaking. But, here's the thing about "Leave Me Alone". Cue the dramatic music because this is not the Nick Oliveri we've heard before and for those looking for past points of reference an album like this one shatters those expectations (along with rock and roll fundamentals!) into a million tiny pieces. In other words if you are expecting something along the lines of Queens of the Stone Age or Kyuss you are going to be disappointed. "Leave Me Alone" abandons those kind of principles. There is just no other way to put it then that. And other than a couple of guests (one of which is Motörhead's Phil Campbell!) "Leave Me Alone" finds Nick Oliveri working solo in order that he alone can take credit for the new direction he takes on his first solo release. It's true that he oft-times discomforting nature of  "Leave Me Alone" is unexpected as it definitely finds Nick Oliveri throwing all caution to the wind! By deconstructing (raw, striped-down and dive bar-worthy to begin with!) rock and hard rock and purging punk rock of what little purity it had left Nick Oliveri has certainly given fans and critics alike something new to talk about with this new release! At it's best "Leave Me Alone" is ramped-up post-rock/punk-rock cleverly disguised as noisy trash metal. And that works! At it's worse though it's an exercise in tolerance and patience where noise is just that-noise. Often times "Leave Me Alone" balances perilously close to that edge (a uneasy tipping point if you will) where one minute it's pure heavy rock/punk rock ecstasy and the next it's merely a bad acid trip waiting to happen. More so "Leave Me Alone" kind of carries itself as if it is a live album misdiagnosed as a studio recording. What happens to work great live (bare naked riffs, grungy bass lines and clunky drums) is a different animal all together behind the paddle walls of a recording studio. I suspect the bulk of what's been laid out on Nick's first solo album (the unedited moments where this vocalist/string-man just goes with the flow and improves punk rock and roll) would go over gangbusters in a live setting. Otherwise it is suspect to interpretation (ie: is this true, unfiltered and unspoiled post-rock art or is it much ado about nothing more then unrestrained noise?) more so then a statement one way or the another of whether or not is is good. Honestly I fall more of the side of "Leave Me Alone" as a good album with quite a lot to say, but there is a case to made that the "Uncontrollable" part of this project's title might be more than mere words....

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