Album Review: Nick Oliveri’s Uncontrollable – “Leave Me Alone”
Chances are you already know who Nick Oliveri is. But just in case you’ve lived under some kind of desert rock for the past 25 years, he is of course a bit of a stoner rock/punk legend. Just look at his band history: Kyuss, The Dwarves, Mondo Generator… he’s been part of some phenomenal acts. He also co-wrote, sang and played bass for a band you may have heard of called Queens Of The Stone Age too.
Leave Me Alone is Oliveri’s first solo album where he’s “gone electric” (previous solo records released in 2004 and 2009 were “death acoustic” efforts), with Oliveri playing all instruments on this recording, including guitar, bass, drums and vocals. He delivers 9 tracks of balls to the wall rock and roll in a furious whirlwind of an album. Think desert rock Super$hit 666 and you’ll be in the right area.
That’s not to say the production is ropey or anything like that. While it does have a certain Black Flag My War feel in places, that’s by no means a bad thing. Produced by Oliveri himself, he’s done a sterling job of capturing his raw energy on the record. Tracks like the punk Come And You’re Gone just wouldn’t work with a cleaner, more polished sound. With lyrics like “I kiss with my fist” you need a certain level of distortion.
This album is far from a one trick pony either. Take the classic rock feel of Luv Is Fiction, or the acoustic, instrumental title track Leave Me Alone. Then there’s the desert rock Robot Man (complete with police sirens, radio and helicopter – perhaps a tongue in cheek reference to his run in with a SWAT team a few years ago) or the storming album closer Death Leads The Way. This is an album with real diversity in sound.
Oliveri is joined by a number of special guests too, with Phil Campbell (Motorhead), Dean Ween (Ween), Mike Pygmie (Mondo Generator), Stephen Haas (Moistboyz), Marc Diamond (The Dwarves) and Bruno Fevery (Vista Chino) all contributing guitar solos, while Blag Dahlia from The Dwarves gets involved on vocals.
With so many guests and such variation in styles you’d perhaps be worried that the album doesn’t ‘flow’ together as a whole. If you’re thinking this, please rest assured, Oliveri’s punk attitude flows throughout each and every song, and this helps to mesh everything together into one cohesive record.
If you put Oliveri's former bands into some kind of giant musical blender, this album might well be the result. It has it all – desert rock, death acoustic, pop, punk and metal. I've probably left some styles out but you get the idea. The combination of these elements underpinned by bags of punk attitude makes for a great electric debut.