Nitrogods – Roadkill BBQ (SPV)Sunday, 28th May 2017
Firing up another set of classic-oriented hard rock ‘n’ roll tracks, German trio Nitrogods contains two members best known through the years for their work in Primal Fear with guitarist Henny Wolter and drummer Klaus Sperling. Maintaining a road warrior mentality since their 2011, they’ve delivered a level of consistency in a stripped down, plug in and play output for their self-titled debut and Rats and Rumours follow up. Should anyone really expect anything different in the third record Roadkill BBQ (named after vocalist/bassist Oimel Larcher’s accidental squirrel run over while driving back from a French show)?
The twelve main songs (this scribe received two bonus cuts as well to make fourteen) traverse bluesy meets southern based riffing and mid-tempo to slightly faster rhythmic accompaniment, sure to elicit comparisons to ZZ Top, Status Quo, and the much missed Motörhead. Oimel bears much resemblance to Lemmy in a rougher, whiskey-induced sheen, appeasing to the hard-working hordes for catchy toe-tappers such as “Bad Place Wrong People” and punk-ish “Race to Ruin”. Henny showcases all facets of his playing – keeping things robust and focused in more metal leaning ways for opener “Rancid Rock” especially with his frantic lead break, while exuding some of that slide/bar ZZ Top-ish charm on the boogie bouncer “My Love’s a Wirebrush”. Klaus flashes some double bass expertise during “Wheelin’”, but for the most part locks into simpler yet effective 4/4 tempos, maintaining more of that angst and aggression that makes “I Hate” a second half highlight, the vengeful lyrical content matching the music perfectly as ‘aggravation kicks in’.
You normally worry when artists revert to a retro platform that they aren’t going to develop enough originality to avoid plagiarism. Nitrogods understand the tools, stay within their comfortable boundaries, and create a record that can easily be taken from home listening straight to cranked volumes on stage. Couple this with some vintage recording gear and a molten cover to make Roadkill BBQ the ideal soundtrack when you want roots-based guitar driven rock ‘n’ roll.