Nucleon - "Hyper Emitter" (1999, Pre-release CD-R
From Aural Innovations #8 (October 1999)
Cleveland's resident space power-trio Nucleon has continued to show growth in the last year as I indicated in the review of their performance supporting Helios Creed (see AI#7). Most the new songs they cranked out on that night were a step up from the material they played at SD'98 I thought. At this year's Strange Daze, vocalist/space-bassist Paul Resnik was on-hand to witness the festivities (unfortunately the full-contingent was not on-hand to perform), and he was nice enough to give us a sneak peek at their upcoming debut CD (due out in November). 'Hyper Emitter' features eight all-original compositions totalling 40 minutes.
Their best known tune "Green Acid" makes an appearance here of course, and it no longer really stands out, as their songwriting is more consistently strong. Next, "Future Rot" starts out magnificently with a sampled voice declaring "The space metal is the evidence." Indeed it is!! The tune itself shows off a head-boppin' rhythm and also an excellent soaring guitar solo from Rich Troha, ever climbing for the stratosphere. The synths then bring us into a free-fall back to Earth... cool effect. "50,000 Feet Tall" is another of the bouncy variety, meaning you can bang your head without fear of losing the beat. "My Life" builds gradually from an ambient synth passage and Troha's spacey guitar lead into what turns out to actually be the slowest and doomiest selection on the album... perhaps the most sophisticated Nucleon composition to date. This is the kind of music I haven't heard before, spacier than doom metal and doomier than stoner rock.
As strong as the material is, I feel that the production could be much improved. If I had to guess, the band recorded the songs live in the studio, as there are a couple timing lapses here and there, and the sound is unbalanced. The mix is a heavy on the synth-bass and drums at the expense of the guitar leads and vocals. That's forgivable in my book, as the music itself is the real important issue... and if this turned out to be an actual live on-stage recording, then I'd understand completely. In any case, I'm happy to finally have a permanent archive of Nucleon's blueprint for sonic destruction.
Contact Paul at 2761 Euclid Hts. Blvd. Apt. #6, Cleveland Hts. OH 44106, or by phone at (216) 321-9978.
Reviewed by Keith Henderson