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Music Review: Nick Oliveri – Death Acoustic

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Desert rat Nick Oliveri has played with everyone in Southern California by now it seems. His first band was with Josh Homme, which eventually morphed into the legendary Kyuss, and later became Queens Of The Stone Age. In between Kyuss and Queens, Oliveri put in time with godlike shock-rockers the Dwarves, as bassist Rex Everything.

In between these commitments, and fronting his own Mondo Generator, Oliveri has played with an incredible number of others. A partial list includes: Eagles Of Death Metal, Auf der Maur, Masters Of Reality, Blag Dahlia Band, and the Mark Lanegan Band. This guy stays busy.

Whether meant as a tribute to friends—or simply because he did not have enough time to write a full album—Oliveri’s Death Acoustic is mostly covers. You have to give the man credit. though; who else would do acoustic versions of songs by the Dwarves, GG Allin, and the Misfits?

Oliveri’s taste is eclectic, to say the least. Death Acoustic opens with a killer take on “Start A Fight,” by obscure Italian punks Raw Power. This is followed with Nick’s voice at it’s sand-paper best on his own “Invisible Like The Sky.” Next comes a song I had to laugh out loud upon hearing, Oliveri’s acoustic stab at the Dwarve’s classic “Dairy Queen,” from Thank Heaven For Little Girls.

A couple of songs he wrote with old friend Josh Homme and company follow. First up is “I’m Gonna Leave You,” originally recorded by Queens Of The Stone Age on their Songs For The Deaf album. He then reaches back to “Love Has Passed Me By,” from Kyuss.

Nowhere is Oliveri’s distinctive strum more pronounced than on the old Misfits warhorse, “Hybrid Moments.” The highlight has to be the final cut though. Nick Oliveri strums a malevolent guitar, and brings his all to a version of the GG Allin anthem, “Outlaw Scumfuc.”

Death Acoustic is well titled. As a whole, this record is anything but easy-listening. Oliveri's playing style is aggressive as hell, and with this choice of tunes, Death Acoustic is much more than a simple vanity project. It is a downright spooky set, and howls as strongly as a desert wind on the wrong side of midnight.

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