Last week my social media feed went berserk with the video of the Halloween reunion of Queens of the Stone Age with founding bassist Nick Oliveri at the Los Angeles Forum. It was just a one-off, only the second time they’ve played together in ten years, but it restored the glory of his contributions to some of the early millennium’s best albums and concerts. Plus, let’s face it: Josh Homme’s Bryan-Ferry-for-the-metal-set croon is great, but he doesn’t do justice to a song as explosive as “Millionaire” the way Oliveri does.
If you’ve missed the crazed, unhinged vibe from Queens of the Stone Age’s recent material, it’s here in spades on Oliveri’s latest album, Leave Me Alone, released under the title of Nick Oliveri’s Unforgettable.
Oliveri is in veins-bulging scream mode pretty much throughout the whole album, which showcases his violent car-crash style of composition familiar from QOTSA tunes like “Tension Head” and “Six Shooter.” Guest musicians including Mickey Melchionado (a.k.a. Dean Ween, featured on “Human Cannonball Explodes”), Phil Campbell from Motörhead, and a pair of Dwarves assist on an album otherwise recorded entirely by Oliveri. Only the instrumental title track hints at the more sensitive acoustic styles found on his previous solo records, which raises the question: Is Leave Me Alone somehow part of Nick Oliveri’s anger management therapy?
Leave Me Alone is out now on Schnitzel Records.