N.O. Hits At All
(Heavy Psych Sounds)
Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Nick Oliveri’s thirty year career as a musician has been anything short of eventful and well documented. Aside from the numerous bands Nick’s been/currently in, he’s known to make appearances as either a guest vocalist or instrumentalist on recordings from groups he’s been close with over the years. N.O. Hits At All is a series of releases through Heavy Psych Sounds that documents these appearances by the goateed rock n’ roll terrorist as a B-Side compilation of sorts with volumes to be released sporadically. Cool concept, let’s start with the first volume.
The first installment clocks in just below twenty minutes with six tracks comprised of both his acoustic work and balls out heaviness from his collaborations with other bands. These recordings have history, with some dating back to as early as 2002 and as recent as 2016 with a makeup of mostly covers and original material. Stand out tracks include a rousing rendition of The Groundhog’s “Eccentric Man”, a track recorded with Ken Pustelnik (original drummer of The Groundhogs) and company during a UK stop on a recent European acoustic tour. These days, Nick assumes bass duties with the reformed hardcore outfit Bl’ast and will be the first to tell you playing their style of hardcore isn’t easy. His acoustic take on Bl’ast’s own “Time To Think/Surf & Destroy” demonstrates this with riff abundance placed in nervous-wreck time signatures, you’ll get the idea.
Russo/Italian punks Svetlanas and Oliveri clash together on a nostalgic cover of Motorhead’s “Speed Freak” to kick off the B-Side of the record. The term, nostalgic mentioned in part to the production used sounding identical to the original master on Iron Fist. His version of Black Flag’s “Revenge” with backing from UK stalwarts Winnebago Deal was originally on a tribute record made to assist in raising funds for the legal bills of the West Memphis Three. It exhibits classic Rex Everything fury as he belts lyrics with an intensity that matches Winnebago’s playing on the track as if their lives are at stake if anything underwhelming is delivered. “Anything & Everything” is an acoustic number with an “Outlaw Scumfuc” feel to it and his collaboration with Dutch stoner rock band Komatsu on “Lockdown” is the heaviest number on the record.
Only downside would have to be the cover art because by the looks it either Michael Bay, Guy Fieri or both were very involved in the creative process, way too over the top. Overall, these recordings show what makes this guy tick musically and with this being a series, more to come. So knowing that, best to kick back, open a Duvel, cut a line, check this album out and keep a lookout for volume II when it lands.