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Atomic Rooster - Nice 'n' Greasy  CD (album) cover

NICE 'N' GREASY

Atomic Rooster

Heavy Prog


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Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
4 stars This last album of the classic Rooster takes the formula of its predecessor and tries to duplicate but is less successful at it. Again here we have a different covers for both sides of the Atlantic, here the American one - the British offering us a tacky foursome riding their flying dicks shooting off their wads and writing the title of the album. Although , the guitarist is different on this one , the rest of the line-up is quite content of its sound and rests on their laurels belting out the numbers , but as they go along one realizes that some numbers are quite average . Still the album holds enough small gems (Save Me, Take one Toke and Satan's Wheel) that it still merits its fourth star. Not their better one but still worthy of the Rooster.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#32385)
Posted Monday, August 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars My least favorite Atomic Rooster album (though not that bad at all). It went away from their usual progressive hard rock sound and delved into the blues-rock/funk sound for most of the songs. This is a talented band however and their new singer helped to make the change in style a fairly successful one with his deeper, bluesy voice. "Voodoo In You" is a highlight as well as "All Across the Country", a very nice blues song from keyboardist Vincent Crane. "Save Me" and "Take One Take" are also very good songs. If you enjoy blues rock similar to Cream then this is not a bad album to pick up. Prog rock fans should be wary of this one however as it's far far off from "Selling England By the Pound" or "The Wall" and much closer to an Eric Clapton album (a good one however!)

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Send comments to dalt99 (BETA) | Report this review (#32386)
Posted Thursday, October 07, 2004 | Review Permalink
frittef@hotma
3 stars This is the least good Atomic Rooster album from the early 70's. A lot more bluesy than the others and less heavy as well as less progressive. But there are good songs on it still. Get this after you have got the previous four Atomic Rooster albums.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#39354)
Posted Wednesday, July 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
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Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Out of time

"Nice'n'greasy" was the second of a pair of albums recorded by the Chris Farlowe era Atomic Rooster for Dawn records. Vincent Crane is still very much at the helm, but the music here is once again radically different to the band's best know works. Titled Atomic Rooster IV in the US, the album was recorded less than a year after "Made in England". The line up is essentially the same, except that guitarist Steve Bolton has been replaced by Johnny Mandala. Mandala is in fact the talented John Goodshall, who would later become a member of Brand X using his real name.

The soul and funk elements which had infiltrated "Made in England" are apparent once again here, together with a fair bit of blues based material. The opening "All across the country" for example is a guitar driven blues song which is barely recognisable as being by Atomic Rooster. "Voodoo in you" follows a similar path, this 7 minute piece being reminiscent of Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac (Crane would eventually team up with Green in 1984 when Atomic Rooster finally folded).

On the soul/funk side, tracks such as "Save me", which curiously has an Arthur Brown flavour lurking in the Temptations like sound, and "Take one toke" are well removed from prog, and will thus only appeal to those who enjoy such music.

"Can't find a reason" is an orchestrated ballad featuring the voice of Farlowe. It was released as a single under the name Crane/Farlowe (not Atomic Rooster) the song being pleasant but totally at odds with anything by any line up of Atomic Rooster. "Ear in the slow" sounds a little like an instrumental version of "Tomorrow night", the track featuring heavy organ and guitar riffs. It is therefore as close as we get to the old Atomic Rooster.

Overall, "Nice'n'greasy" is something of an oddity in the Atomic Rooster catalogue, even when compared with the preceding "Made in England". It is dominated by guitar far more than any other album by the band, while taking them further and further from their progressive roots. Unfortunately, the material is inconsistent, making for a reasonably enjoyable, but notably patchy album. The sleeve was clearly not designed to enhance sales either, being a far cry from the Roger Dean artwork which adorned some previous releases.

The band once again imploded after the release of this album, but would return yet again in 1980.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#146698)
Posted Wednesday, October 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars I am afraid that this is only the continuation of their previous release (Made In England"). It is the same sort of blues / soul influenced music which is not really my cup of tea.

I am missing so much their great early recordings which mostly featured some great heavy rock. Way better than this Motown oriented music ("All Across The Country" but not only). The music here might be OK but if I would like to listen to such type of sounds, I would head for "Sly & The Family Stone" instead. I really didn't expect this dramatic change in style from this once good band (at least till "Hearing").

This brass during the funky "Save Me" is exactly what I can't stand in music. Press next.

The problem with "Nice & Greasy" is that most of the numbers are just a carbon copy of each other. Mostly blues / soul oriented ("Voodoo In You"), yet with a heavy texture. I would just add that the guitar work during this song is excellent. But this is only a pale compensation.

I really don't like the music of this album. It goes from bad to worse ("Take One Toke"). And the grotesque "Can't Find A Reason" is not better either. There is only one light out of this darkness: the good instrumental "Ear In The Snow". But this is really the only good moment.

"Nice & Sleazy" does it, does it every time? But not "Nice & Greasy". Two stars, but it seems exaggerated to describe my feelings.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#182362)
Posted Saturday, September 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
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Symphonic Team
3 stars Nice 'N' Greasy was the fourth album for Atomic Rooster after many changes in both lineup and musical invention. It is one of the most overlooked albums of the band and for good reason. The album comes in various covers, some poor such as the fried egg and ciggie butt, others innovative such as the Rooster and jet over Planet Earth (I opted for this version and was able to twist the booklet in such a way it is now the front cover).

Some of the tracks on this offering are very commercial in their sound and as a result lack the incredible innovative talents of the virtuoso musicians. Having said this, such is the greatness of the band, there are still many tracks that are excellent additions to the band's repertoire.

One such track is the hard driving 'All Across The Country' with it's relentless riff and pounding drums. Other highlights include 'Save Me', which is really a revamped version of 'Friday 13th' but still as great. 'Can't Find A Reason' is a great ballad and another favourite is 'the rocking 'Satan's Wheel' that switches time signatures from 10/8, 4/4, 7/8, 6/8, 5/8 and then returns to 10/8 if you can believe it. 'Ear In The Snow' is also adequate.

The bonus tracks are quite good including the atmospheric 'Moods', featuring Crane at his best, and a so- called live version of 'Devil's Answer', though there have obviously been some post production tampering.

The album works as a final epitaph for Vincent Crane who took his life swallowing 400 Anadin capsules thus ending a brilliant but short lived career as a musician/songwriter. Overall, the album is good enough but this would be the last time the Rooster would shine, with Crane out of the picture the disappointing 'Headline News' was soon to follow, and it effectively ended the Rooster until their reunion days.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#201686)
Posted Wednesday, February 04, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars I have Repertoire version.

Hmmm... Interesting album of Funky/ Heavy Rock but too poor with two great songs, "Save Me" and "Can't Find A Reason" and too poor songs.

Well, "Save Me" is a real masterpiece, a great Power Rock song with Funky brass. In my mind sound as a masterpiece songs because have power, magic and feeling. Great is Chris Farlowe, also because this is a pure Farlowe song, also if penned by Vincent Crane.

"Can't Find A Reason" is a great ballad, typical of European Folk but extremely black. This song is extremely sick and Chris Farlowe is superlative.

The rest of "Nice'n'Greasy" is not at the same level, too poor.

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Send comments to 1967/ 1976 (BETA) | Report this review (#407973)
Posted Friday, February 25, 2011 | Review Permalink
Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
2 stars After a change in direction with the previous album `Made in England' for a more white soul/R&B sound, the fifth Atomic Rooster album `Nice N Greasy' saw the band still carrying on in that style, but to sadly diminishing returns. Apparently recorded in something of a hurry, the results only confirm that statement, and it's a noticeable step down in quality from the previous albums. It's a bunch of mostly just decent tunes, with a pretty useless cover of one of their biggest earlier hits and only one or two pieces that offer the classic dark magic of Rooster albums past. New guitarist Johnny Mandela (actually John Goodshall, later of fusion band Brand X) stands out the most, filling the album with smouldering electric bluesy wailing, and of course (as on all their albums) the drumming, from Rick Parnell, is front and centre and full of fire. Vocalist Chris Farlowe is still in decent form, just unfortunately saddled with mostly inferior material, but the biggest letdown of all is unforgivable - piano/organ player Vincent Crane is so low-key and subdued that it's like he's frequently missing altogether. When the `leader' is mostly missing in action, what chance does an Atomic Rooster album have to truly shine?

Album opener `All Across The Country' is a decent start, a well performed bluesy chill-out, driven by Johnny's slow-burn guitar soloing throughout the entire piece. Farlowe croons along confidently, Parnell drums up a busy storm, and Crane plods along on electric piano, but it takes for the more up-tempo second half for the piece to leap to life and for him to make his presence known with some brief soloing. `Save Me' is an uninspired horn driven remake of `Friday the 13th' from the self-titled debut album, with a tiresome histrionic vocal from Chris, only the little snarling electric guitar fills before the `Somebody...please save me' pre-chorus moments lift the track, bringing a little metal danger. `Voodoo In You' is the first standout moment, a slowly grooving classic darker Rooster track full of dark lust with that slight occult tinged unease they're known for. Johhny's simmering guitar leads the way, Chris purrs a seductive echoing vocal, but sadly Vincent is completely swamped by the other players and should have been mixed more upfront. `Goodbye Planet Earth' that follows is a slow funky jam dominated by Chris's hoarse bellow, but it's dull with a repetitive vocal that never really goes anywhere, and worse still, Vincent seems totally absent from the piece altogether.

`Take One To Toke' opens the second side with a heavy jazz/funk jam, with just a little aggressive piano, chugging wah-wah electric guitar and improvised vocals, but the `Do you want it, do you need it' words couldn't be more tired and tedious. You can hear Crane's Hammond straining to emerge at the end, but it retreats back with not even a whimper. Much better is the surprising gospel ballad `Can't Find A Reason', with big orchestration and classy warm piano from Vincent, and it's easily one of the most purely romantic and spiritual moments to appear on a Rooster album. Finally we get one of those infectious killer instrumental workouts that light up all their other albums, and for the first time on the LP Crane's Hammond organ and electric piano roars to life on `Ear In The Snow'. It's ably backed up by scratchy electric guitar and nimble unhinged drumming, and the entire band totally cooks on this one, easily making it the highlight of the disc. Sadly the promisingly titled album closer `Satan's Wheel' doesn't deliver much. Opening with jazz-fusion electric guitar ripples and creeping tip-toeing piano, some dreamy spacier verses are fine, but a boisterous chorus is repeated over and over, never achieving much at all. Damn, with a title like that, it should have been the perfect opportunity for some infernal brimstone-fuelled Hammond organ from Crane, but it never shows.

This version of the Atomic Rooster band would quickly splinter after this recording, until a new line-up reformed around Vincent Crane in 1980 in more of a heavy metal style. The Castle Music CD reissue adds a few bonus tracks, as well as a detailed booklet with many fascinating anecdotes and quotes from Chris Farlowe, doing what it can to make the album more completely appealing. Half of `Nice N Greasy' is worthwhile, the rest is throwaway if well-performed, but there might just be enough to get stronger fans over the line. Newcomers should check out the first three albums, followed by `Made in England, and only then look into this one. This is really for more forgiving die-hard followers of the band, and they'll definitely find something worthwhile here, even if it's often a pale imitation of the band at their strengths.

Two and a half stars.

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Send comments to Aussie-Byrd-Brother (BETA) | Report this review (#1298946)
Posted Thursday, October 30, 2014 | Review Permalink

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