Nuclear Power Trio is an instrumental shred supergroup made up of members of Havok and Allegaeon which should give some kind of indication just how much firepower this band actually have. Every single member is a certified weapon of mass destruction and is given time to shine throughout the entire record.
One of the most interesting aspects of Nuclear Power Trio is how comical their image and branding is. The three members are depicted in branding as Kim Jong Un, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump and it’s not exactly clear what side of the political spectrum they all lean towards (the members of the band, not the literal dictators) the humour comes from the absurdity of all of them joining forces to make a progressive instrumental shred band.
All of these songs are instrumental and the song titles feel like comedic tweets and it’s probably a blessing that there are no lyrics because it probably would read like an unhinged Twitter argument like most political discourse nowadays. ‘Snark Side of the Un’ and ‘Anti Saxxers’ feature some incredible bass work that overshadows the lead guitar at times which is a massive achievement considering just how absurdly technical it gets.
There’s a lot of variety beyond the neon-tinged 80s style shredding, ‘Vamos Banditos’ has a Flamenco/Latin style that feels like it was performed by veterans of the genre and ‘Anti Saxxers’ features phenomenal saxophone work that works as a dual lead attack with some of the albums more melodic and soulful guitar lines.
A number of songs sound like the intro song of forgotten radical and extreme cartoons, a fun experiment I did while writing this article was playing the songs over the top of the cartoon intros. ‘Apocalypse Mao’ fits very well with Biker Mice From Mars, ‘Vamos Banditos’ fits with Cowboys from Moo Mesa and my personal favourite was ‘Wet Ass Plutonium’ over Street Sharks.
Nuclear Power Trio is a glorious balance of ridiculous technical proficiency, over the top comedic imagery and the ability to take themselves seriously as musicians without sacrificing any of the humour and fun they’ve worked to create.
Wet Ass Plutonium is available July 28th Metal Blade Records.