Released: 2011, SPV/Steamhammer
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Listening to the self-titled debut from Germany’s Nitrogods, it’s clear that the guys are BIG fans of Motorhead. The album’s 12 tracks bear an uncanny resemblance to the rock n’ boogie of the mighty ‘Head, but resemblances aside - it’s a helluva lotta fun. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time that I enjoyed an album this much,
And fun appears to be priority #1 for the trio, as there’s a constant theme of hard living and good times across NITROGODS which translates effortlessly into their tunes. From the moment you press play, the trio succeeds at grabbing the listener by the nards with swift rhythms, swingin’ melodies, and fat hooky choruses. The opening one-two combo of “Black Car Driving Man” and “Demolition Inc.” does a great job of getting both the head banging and foot tapping, typically an unlikely pairing, but damned if it just doesn’t get under your skin in the best possible way.
Some of the best songs on the album though are the darker, rockabilly infused tracks, which sound almost like a more sinister version of Headcat. Check out the closing “Zombietrain” or the exceptional “At Least I’m Drunk” for proof. By the way, “At Least I’m Drunk” is my new favorite drinking anthem; if this tune doesn’t make you want to pound back a few shots, you need to see a physician immediately to have the stick in your arse extracted. As the album progresses, the tunes stray into broader musical territory, particularly on the Thorogood-esque “Whiskey Wonderland” and the southern fried “Rifle Down.” While these songs are no less enjoyable in the context of the entire disc, they could be a deal breaker for metal purists. If that’s the case, see my previous comment relating to physicians and extraction.
Something I didn’t know about Nitrogods until after spending some time with the album was that guitarist Henny Wolter and drummer Klaus Sperling are both alumni of power metal vets Sinner and Primal Fear. At first it I found this a bit surprising given how stylistically different Nitrogods is to those bands, but less so with repeated listens. Considering the over the top presentation, some amazing fretwork at the hands of Wolter and the infusion of bright, catchy melodies into a heavy, grounded foundation, it all makes sense…
NITROGODS won’t win any awards for originality and should credit a certain Mr. Kilmister somewhere in the liner notes as inspiration, but like I said from the get-go, it’s a helluva lotta fun. The band’s got a knack for writing great tunes that get the blood pumping and booze flowing, and sometimes that’s really all you need. NITROGODS is available now through SPV/Steamhammer.