The Nuclear Power Trio are 3 world leaders and possible despots who have decided to try and get peace by making music. The band comprise of Vladimir Putin (bass), Donald Trump (guitars) and Kim Jong-Un (drums). OK, we know, not really. It is of course 3 guys from various rock and or metal bands who have masked up to entertain us with 5 instrumental tracks of funky goodness and hard-rocking riffs for the soul.
Now I confess I have tried to confirm who they are. However, they have managed on the whole it seems to keep themselves either unknown or at least not confirmed. To be honest, maybe it is a good thing. It didn’t hurt Lordi to keep their true identities under wraps for a long time. The mystery seemed to give an added edge. The question I suppose is does the music hold up even if there was no actual gimmick going on. Personally I would say yes. Anyone who digs artists such as Primus, Dream Theater, Infectious Grooves, Rush and all the guitar shredders from the 1980s will more than likely enjoy this.
About The Tracks:
The titles are of course as we would say in the UK “taking the piss” (could also say that about what they are doing with their characters) with opening and EP title track “A Clear And Present Rager” already having a video on YouTube which is pinned at the bottom of the review for those who haven’t seen it yet. The first thing that is noticeable is the bass playing. It is superb. In the words of a Rush parody, the guy is “slappin da bass” for all he is worth. Second is the speed and dexterity of the drumming and finally, the actually reasonably tasteful guitar soloing when not shredding like a bastard. It is quite an immediate track, despite all the musical noodling, there are strong melodies going on.
“Grab ‘Em By The Pyongyang” (an amalgamation of the guitarist’s comments about women and the name of the North Korean capital for anyone who hasn’t already guessed) continues that bass being up and centre with bass runs aplenty going on. There are also lots of guitar soloing to enjoy. The drop-down section is jazz-rock. However, don’t let that put you off or scare you! Keeping it jazzy “The Fusion Collusion” is probably the closest thing to a latter-day Rush instrumental (yes it is that much fun and impressive) going very funky before the end.
“Ukraine In The Membrane” (a nice use of a Cypress Hill title making it topical to what is happening in that region named) utilizes acoustic guitar at the beginning (and near the end) before the fastest double-quick drumming bulldozes through the place underscoring some very serious guitar shredding (the drumming does similar during the lead guitar solo as well). The riff when it arrives is thrash in style. The main motif on the guitar weaves in and out during the song keeping some form of structure to it all.
Ending the EP is “Mutually Assured Seduction” (does anyone remember the Gillan song “M.A.D” also know as “Mutually Assured Destruction“? Wonder if the band do?). The opening did make me think of the start of “Crystal Ann” by Annihilator before going all funky with wah-wah guitar and a very funky groove. The soloing is not all frantic here but allows a little bit more feel and emotion. They show once again fine use of melody in amongst all the tricks and skills on display.
Much More Than A Gimmick:
This is a damn fine EP which is good fun to listen to whilst being progressive, funky and shredding. If the guys do reveal themselves in the near future then I personally would still be interested as under the gimmick there lies a band capable of great music with enough variation to be interesting and entertaining.
Check it out on October 30 when it will be released on Metal Blade.
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