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Nitrogods - "Nitrogods" (CD)

Nitrogods - "Nitrogods" CD cover image

"Nitrogods" track listing:

1. Black Car Driving Man
2. Demolition Inc.
3. At Least I'm Drunk
4. Gasoline
5. Whiskey Wonderland
6. Licence To Play Loud
7. Lipsynch Stars
8. The Devil Dealt The Deck
9. Rifle Down
10. Riptide
11. Wasted In Berlin
12. Zombietrain

Reviewed by on June 28, 2012

"Nitrogods has served up a high-octane blend of boogie and fury on this self-titled disc."

Combining the hoarse vocals and punky speed of Motorhead with the bluesy bourbon boogie of ZZ Top, German act Nitrogods has created a mostly excellent album for anyone who appreciates a little hip-shaking to go with their headbanging. Given the band's pedigree, with a couple members doing time with Primal Fear and Sinner, it's not surprising how well-performed this stuff is, and a couple of great guest stars are the cherry on top of this sonic sundae.

From the opening notes of "Black Car Driving Man," it's obvious that Oimel Larcher is quite happily taking his cues from another famous bass-playing vocalist, with a Lemmy-like liquor-soaked growl that works in a surprisingly versatile manner. Larcher's voice is obviously suited to songs like "Licence To Play Loud" and "Wasted In Berlin" — a song that's so Motorhead that "Fast" Eddie Clarke shows up to lend a guitar solo (!). That Larcher manages not to sound completely out of place on a slow growler like "At Least I'm Drunk" (which reminds this listener a bit of the Reverend Horton Heat) is a little bit of a shock.

Guitarist Henny Wolter is seldom short of spectacular here, whether he's delivering the slow boogie of "The Devil Dealt The Deck" or the high-speed gallop of "Gasoline." His solos, when they're not delivered with wickedly slinky slide guitar work, are reminiscent of Motorhead ax-men Eddie Clarke and Phil Campbell.

It's also worth noting that Nazareth screamer Dan McCafferty does a hell of a job livening up the speedy, harmonica-laced Bo Diddley shuffle "Whiskey Wonderland." Also, drummer Klaus Sperling does an excellent job of propelling the songs forward, adding both energy and groove.

The album does have a couple of less impressive songs. I can empathasize with the band for going after the likes of Gaga and their own hometown zeroes, Milli Vanilli on "Lipsynch Stars," but the song comes across as rather silly and lightweight. "Rifle Down" feels a little too by-the-numbers in its ZZ Top-ness for this reviewer, though others may disagree.

Nitrogods has served up a high-octane blend of boogie and fury on this self-titled disc. It's good old-fashioned rock n' roll, with tasty licks served up on a dirty plate.

Highs: "Wasted In Berlin," The Devil Dealt The Deck" and "Whiskey Wonderland."

Lows: The silly "Lipsynch Stars" and "Rifle Down."

Bottom line: An excellent bluesy hard-rocker mixing the speed and grit of Motorhead with ZZ Top boogie.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)