LIKE THE CURSE - The Nicotine Fits (Zodiac Killer Records)
Here's one of a handful of bands in the world who sound like Radio Birdman without wanting to be them. This is a killer disc, no risk.

On just about every song, The Nicotine Fits' twin-guitar attack-with-keyboard-colourings hits the target with unerring accuracy. Flashes of Stooges and Dead Boys pop up in the course of seven songs, but it's the Radio Birdman spin-off/supergroup New Race that's most often recalled. And in case you were wondering, The Nicotine Fits are from Denver, not Darlinghurst.

Drummer Sean Vigil is less of a disciple of Ron Kelley's skittish feels than an uncomplicated and dynamic player. Singer Peter Sisson sounds like Mark Arm crossed with The Hives' Pelle Almqvis.

Guitars are obviously the main game and Bert Maple and Nick Santa Maria get in each other's face regularly. One of them is fencing the the odd stolen lick ("Descent into the Maelstrom" is an obvious influence) but who cares when it sounds this good?

These guys sound like they're hungry enough to eat the crotch out of a low flying duck.

"Just Can't Control Her" is one of those songs where the sonic attack is furious but rays of light show through the spaces. Imitators can't pull that off. Hear it for yourself when Chris Bullock lays down a rolling keyboard line underneath as the band choruses: "I feel alright!"

"Pieces of Teethes" brings to bear a similar approach with some nasty-and-nice squalling guitar bleeding through.

"Shake Me Some Action" gets down to business after a minute-long intro but goes for the throat with ruthless intent. The Nicotine Fits like to create space in the middle of their songs and this pause is a good one.

I could dock half a Rolling Rock for dabbling with hackneyed imagery in "Girl's Like Heroin To Me" but the hammering guitars won't let me. The "Maelstrom" lick turns up again but there's all sorts of stuff buzzing around in the breakdown, some of it noxious. A nice way to end it.- The Barman

3/4

 

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