Warning: Nutrajet is a highly addictive drug that should never be taken in moderation. This six-song CD is just long enough to get you frothed up into a slobbering daze of reckless glee, just short enough to make you shriek “NO!” after the final cut goes feedbacking into the void. Listening to this excellent debut took me instantly back to the KROQ 106.7 FM days in Southern California, circa 1982. Progressive and poppy power punk. The old school of shiny three-chord guitar anthems mixed with a keen take on the Technological Babylon.
It’s a brain-melting blast of guitar and whine from Greg Reinel that starts off “Alternative Nation.” Listed in the album liner notes as “guitar hero,” Reinel has a tasty tone that is clean and sharp just as it is fuzzy and overdriven. The sound is six miles wide and eight high, buzzsawing and layering, twisting through this tune with the blistering drumming of Pamela Suzanne Dozier providing the meter. Reinel’s vocals erupt with a screaming, sneering “welcome to the future/welcome to the Pepsi Generation.” Dozier’s backing vocals pop up here and there to accent phrases with a gritty sweetness. The song has an instant-hit feel to it with a catchy chorus and nifty guitar arrangements towards the end. “You Little Disgrace” lessens the pace none, but charges into a minor mode with a Great Wall Of Chucking Guitar. “Whip the Big Boy Out” is a song about exactly what it sounds like. “Sitting alone with a credit card/ sitting alone with a modem” are words that deal sardonically with the subject of Internet porn and its promise of “unlimited access” for “just $20 a month” and how the two can’t buy you love. Sounds serious until you hear how much Dozier and Reinel rock this bitch out.
The pace slows somewhat with “Love To Explode” (sounds like a perfect sequel to the previous track) and if this one doesn’t take you back to the 82’s, then you’re too damn young. From the harmonious “doo-de-doo’s” to the basic song structure — this is hardcore pop, the kind that simply doesn’t seem to get played on the radio anymore. Reinel layers guitar with an ease that doesn’t clutter the sound picture, countermelodies where they’re needed, a bit of high-end here, a nice lick to kick that run in the ass — whatever it takes, it’s done with that Buddha-sized sound.
When the dynamics come down to only that deadly damper click, it’s enough to make you want to stage-dive off the couch. Feedback lovers will dig the ending of this tune which turns into the mysterious sounding “Up With The Lovely” which reminded me a wee bit of Blondie’s “Call Me” in atmospheric darkness, but with a much cooler approach. My pick for break-out tune is “No More You,” a hyper-active pressure cooker of a song that seems to move in a hundred different directions, but possesses a queer calming effect as well. Dozier’s drum whacking drives the song mercilessly through a magical land where a number of different guitar families live — and Reinel gets them to dance together in a freewheeling style that still keeps it fairly between the lines, shredding, voluminous chordage, a little stabbing rhythm around the base, enmeshed to create a nice tapestry of softly head-banging fury. Here, they’re closer to Sparks in sound and delivery with lyrics like “shake those hips with vicious hatred/oh yeah, I’m annihilated.”
From the innards of each song to the production art, it’s evident that Nutrajet take themselves none too seriously — or do they? The cover of the album features a piece of candy with a razor blade embedded in it, and my friends, that about sums up this must-have disc from Orlando’s reigning power pop duo. It’s sweet and tasty, but beware the cutting edge of sarcasm and blistering sonics. Allow yourself only ten complete listens daily or seek help immediately. Disarraygun Records, 2813 Primrose Ct., Orlando, FL 32803, firstname.lastname@example.org