The Art of Reaching – Nucleus
There really is nothing particularly mind-blowing about Nucleus musically or
lyrically, but there is something to be said for catchy and easy to digest
songs like "Vitality" and "Vampires." With the traditional power trio format
of guitar, drums and bass Nucleus creates their own niche in the jam-rock
world by forgoing the increasingly popular tension and release model in
favor of a more relaxed, spacey, yet tightly focused west coast style.
On The Art Of Reaching, guitarist and vocalist Piet Dalmolen, drummer Pete Ciotti, and bassist Steve Webb let a few friends in on the action to help fill out the band on some tracks. The horn section of Chris Noonan and Justin Schwartzman adds a dirty funk vibe to "The Sooner You Learn," and brings the ska/reggae swing on "Pintos ‘n’ Amber." B. Swizlo’s Hammond B3 work and Webb’s bassline give the reggae rhythm to "West Coast," a song that is still a lot of fun despite its sometimes clichlyrics.
On "Downtime" the quick bass and drum groove is the perfect counterpoint to Dalmolen's stoned funk rock guitar. The tune leaves the listener wondering
why he doesn't let it rip on the guitar more often, because there's no
question he's got the chops. For more proof of his guitar skills, and the
entire band's impressive jamming ability for that matter, be sure to check
out the instrumental "IAFT," a full on rocker with tremendous energy.