The Nuclears are rock’n’roll, in every sense of the word, and their new 5 song EP, Record High, out on King Pizza Records, is undisputed proof of that. Coming out of Brooklyn, New York at a time when the local scene is littered with indie, synth-pop, and noise punk, The Nuclears stay true to their hard rock roots, in the vein of bands such as Kiss, AC/DC, and Cheap Trick. Made up of Brian and Mike Dudolevitch on vocals and guitar, bassist, Bobby “Atom” Sproles, drummer, Kevin Blatchford, and Kit Benz on keyboard and vocals, The Nuclears have put forth one hell of a rockin’ party record.
Record High starts off strong with it’s title track- a hard hitting rock anthem about trying to beat the summertime heat. Between it’s semi cliché chorus (Hot night on the street outside / It’s an all time number one record high / Soakin wet with sweat and feeling low) and shredding guitar licks, you’re liable to forget you’re streaming this track on Bandcamp as opposed to pumping it through a late ’70s FM radio. The album continues with “Rekall”- another hard rock hit riddled with face melting solos, big drums, and a ton of early metal swagger. Just when you might count The Nuclears out as a one trick pony, they hit you with “One Day You Might” – a harmonica driven B- pop-folk number. Seemingly out of left field, this track pays homage to another era, while nicely breaking up the heaviness of the record. That’s followed by “Eclipso II: Black Atom”, a hauntingly grungey tune, reminiscent of Audioslave or Pearl Jam. The fifth and final song is called “Afterparty”, and it’s everything you’d expect – an upbeat, party rock anthem not afraid to ask the important questions, like “are you coming to the after party?”. The dueling pop-metal guitar lines, background keyboard, and sing-along chorus all but dare you not to get up and dance.
Now, I’m not going to lie to you, I wouldn’t really consider myself a “rock’n’roll dude”. In fact, I wouldn’t even call myself a fan of any of the superstar bands I’ve compared The Nuclears to throughout this review (with the exception of maybe Pearl Jam). That being said, after less than a minute of listening to this album for the first time, I was tapping my feet and banging out the drum parts on my thighs. The next day, I was even singing along to Record High in the shower, shampoo bottle “microphone” in hand. They may not be the most original band to the grace the scene, but there’s something to be said for solid music played well, and The Nuclears know exactly what they’re doing when it comes to rock’n’roll. If you’re an old school rocker tired of spinning the same records, or just someone looking for some fun music to blast while knocking back a few beers, do yourself a favor and check out The Nuclears’ Record High, just be sure to dust off your air guitar first – you’re gonna need it.