Review & Full Stream: Nick Oliveri, N.O. Hits at All, Vol. 3

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on October 12th, 2017 by JJ Koczan


[Click play above to stream Nick Oliveri’s N.O. Hits at All, Vol. 3 in its entirety. CD/LP out Oct. 20 via Heavy Psych Sounds.]

As he informs in screaming fashion on the penultimate “Country as Fuck,” Nick Oliveri is here to drink, fuck, and fight. Would anyone expect less? That song is by a group called Plan B fronted by Oliveri and featuring guitarist Steve Soto, drummer and Joey Castillo, and guitarist Troy van Leeuwen — the latter two former Oliveri bandmates in Queens of the Stone Age — and it’s one of six cuts, each by a different group featuring Oliveri, included on N.O. Hits at All, Vol. 3, the third installment of a Heavy Psych Sounds-backed series of “lost,” previously unreleased or otherwise hard to chase down tracks from the former Kyuss bassist.

Of course, Oliveri‘s alias identities include being the frontman of Mondo Generator, his own Nick Oliveri’s Uncontrollable solo band, his Death Acoustic solo work, performing with Dwarves, a stint in Kyuss Lives!/Vista Chino, bassist in BloodclotBl’astSvetlanas, on and on. His reputation for drug-fueled riotousness precedes him — 2011 police standoff, rifle, prison, amphetamines; easy to recall — and sure enough, N.O. Hits at All, Vol. 3 tears un-P.C. ass through its 17-minute stretch, blasting off punker violence as it goes with Oliveri‘s recognizable throat-searing shouts and unmatched attitude serving as the factors to tie it all together. He may or may not actually be country as fuck, but he certainly makes the above-noted mission statement sound like a genuine expression of intent.

Cohorts and accomplices are a big part of the appeal on N.O. Hits at All, Vol. 3 as well. Oliveri joins Melissa Auf der Maur (Hole, Smashing Pumpkins) in her Hand of Doom solo Black Sabbath covers project for a take on “The Mob Rules” that seems to revel in how far from the Dio-fronted original version it is, while also reminding of how propulsive that original actually was. Dwarves and a side-project for Dwarves guitarist He Who Cannot Be Named both show up, the former with second cut “Luv is Fiction,” which finds Oliveri on vocals under his own name while also playing bass under the guise of Rex Everything. The esteemed Josh Freese (Suicidal Tendencies, Ween, A Perfect Circle, Guns ‘n’ Roses, indeed Dwarves, among many others) may or may not be playing drums on “Luv is Fiction,” which together with He Who Cannot Be Named‘s “Medication,” comprise just about the most outwardly accessible inclusions on the record.

When Dwarves is as close as you get to “audience friendly,” you know some shit is going down. And fair enough. So much of Oliveri‘s sonic personality is based around being unhinged, the wild man, etc., it only seems fair that even as “Luv is Fiction” moves into semi-spoken verses, it should still serve as a reminder of the edge and sense of danger that Queens of the Stone Age have arguably been missing for the last 12-plus years, and by the time they come around, “Country as Fuck” and “The Mob Rules” at the end only underscore the point of the kind of torrent Oliveri can bring to a piece of material and still hold it together to the degree he does, which, naturally, varies.

nick oliveri

And now that the lead has been thoroughly buried, N.O. Hits at All, Vol. 3 features two seeming exclusives of particular note. The first is opener “Rock ‘n’ Roll Outlaw,” a cover of Rose Tattoo‘s 1978 single by the Oliveri-fronted Royale Daemons, a project idea kicked around a few years back that featured Joey Castillo on drums and Scott “Wino” Weinrich (The ObsessedSaint VitusSpirit Caravan, The Hidden Hand, and so on) on guitar. The notion of an Oliveri/Wino collaboration was enough to turn heads in that trio’s direction with the sheer announcement of its existence, but apart from a show or two, this recording and one featured on the previous installment of this series earlier this year, so far as I know nothing else has come of it, and as “Rock ‘n’ Roll Outlaw” has never been previously released, it’s definitely something special for N.O. Hits at All, Vol. 3.

Same could be said of side B leadoff “Kyuss Dies,” by a trio incarnation of Kyuss Lives! without vocalist John Garcia that consists just of Oliveri, drummer Brant Bjork and guitarist Bruno Fevery, on which Oliveri essentially tells the tale in punker fashion of the lawsuit that brought that project to an end and saw the birth of Vista Chino, which of course also led to the departure of Oliveri from the group. Over a raw and fuzzy recording, Oliveri intones “Here come the suits and ties/Kyuss dies,” while brazenly declaring, “So long my friends/I’m gone.” So he would be, but it’s worth noting that “Kyuss Dies” is the only studio recording ever made public under the moniker of Kyuss Lives! — it’s also the longest track here at 3:42 — so is something of a historical footnote in the timeline of that group as well, which would seem to have been shortlived and more or less doomed from the outset.

As with any such interplay of characterization and persona, it’s hard to separate fact from fiction when it comes to seeing Oliveri as the one-man wrecking crew he’s reputed to be, but along with his screams, his scathing vision of what punk rock should do, he’s also someone who can craft a landmark hook, and even “Kyuss Dies,” which sounds like a studio tossoff jam, is maddeningly catchy, to say nothing of “Luv is Fiction” or “Country as Fuck.” These things he seems to take with him wherever he goes, and if N.O. Hits at All, Vol. 3 continues to prove anything, it’s that the dude gets around.

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Nick Oliveri to Release N.O. Hits at All Compilation Jan. 27

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 30th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Ain’t no question Nick Oliveri‘s gotten around over the years. While he’ll always be known as the low end slinger from the early days of Kyuss and the glory days of Queens of the Stone Age, between the various incarnations of his own Mondo Generator band, Dwarves and other acts — Bloodclot, in which he features alongside Cro MagsJohn Joseph, have been announced for a March 2017 debut, so his contributions are ongoing — Oliveri has amassed a catalog that’s wide-ranging in style, geography and intensity. Yet somehow, no matter where he goes or what he’s doing, from Death Acoustic to Nick Oliveri’s Uncontrollable to sitting in with Winnebago Deal, his mark is unmistakable.

Some of his many guest appearances will be the focus for the forthcoming N.O. Hits at All Vol. 1 — get it? initials? — which will feature Death Acoustic covers as well as cuts from other bands on which Oliveri has sat in. Bound to be kind of all over the place, right? Well, I think that’s pretty much the whole idea. It’s out Jan. 27 via Heavy Psych Sounds.

Oliveri offers comment via the PR wire below:


NICK OLIVERI to release first volume of his “N.O. Hits At All” compilations through Heavy Psych Sounds this January!

Desert punk icon NICK OLIVERI just announced the release of a serie of compilations entitled “N.O. Hits At All”, to be issued next year on Heavy Psych Sounds Records.

The man comments on this new work: “This record is the Volume One of a series of compilations in which I recorded the vocals. Bands that I like and bands that like my singing voice enough to have asked me to “guest vocal” on a song for their records. Some of these have been released and some have not until now. I have sang and/or recorded bass on 50+ releases of bands I love and had the great honor to work with – Dwarves, Mondo Generator, Svetlanas, Q.O.T.S.A, Kyuss, Bl’Ast, Bloodclot, Masters Of Reality, Vista Chino, Mark Lenagan Band, Turbonegro, Death Acoustic, The Uncontrollable, to name a few. The good folks at Heavy Psych Sounds Records are releasing a series called “N.O. Hits At All”. Now for the first time, all these songs and bands I’ve recorded with over the past 25 years are together and available to you to trip out on. So get your head right, put this record on and play it loud!”

“N.O. Hits At All Vol.1” will be issued on January 27th, 2017 on LTD transparent red vinyl, black vinyl and CD, all through Heavy Psych Sounds.

NICK OLIVERI “N.O. Hits At All Vol.1”
Out January 27th on Heavy Psych Sounds
Pre-orders available from December 16th here

1. Komatsu “Lockdown”
2. Death Acoustic “Anything and Everything”
3. Winnebago Deal “Revenge”

1. Svetlanas “Speedfreak”
2. Death Acoustic “Time To Think / Surf & Destroy”
3. Ken Pustelnik’s Groundhogs “Eccentric Man”

Nick Oliveri, “Time to Think / Surf & Destroy” live

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