“…a slow burning, almost cinematic trek through what feels like a sepia-stained, dying world, bereft of life and caked with dust, dirt, and grime from neglect.” – Everything Is Noise
Everything Is Noise is currently streaming “Year 3,” from NUCLEAR DUDES, the solo venture spearheaded by Jon Weisnewski, front person of the heavy, noisey Seattle rock acts Sandrider and Akimbo. The track comes off the band’s Boss Blades debut full-length, set for release on July 7th via Modern Grievance Records.
NUCLEAR DUDES is a manic mix of extreme metal, synth-prog, powerviolence, and industrial noise. Or, as Weisnewski puts it, the project is a wild-eyed response to the question, “What if Carcass and Gary Numan were locked in a studio and had to figure out how to make a record together?” If that description sounds completely unhinged – well, it is. Yet the anxious showdown of whirlwind riffs vs. mercurial synths makes for mesmerizingly fun drama, likely leaving you tongue-tied and resorting to a gif search for “face melting” to describe your feelings.
Initially, the NUCLEAR DUDES began as a way for Weisnewski to keep his mind and hands busy in the early days of lockdown. As a video game developer who has worked on major franchises like Halo and Destiny, as well as a musician who has consistently spent nights at band practice or playing shows as the guitarist/vocalist for the Seattle heavy rock institution Sandrider (and formerly the Alternative Tentacles/Neurot punk-hardcore group Akimbo), he knew he needed to find a way to keep being creative. So he did what many other musicians did at the time and began recording music by himself at home, using only guitars and a laptop. But rather than turning to slower, acoustic music like many others, he went in the other direction entirely, dialing up both the volume and tempo – and letting all of his seemingly opposing influences live freely in the same place. In 2022 he released two EPs, Bad At Sleep and Gin & Panic, with the idea that he’d eventually add more collaborators to the project – a vision that is now being realized Boss Blades.
Elaborates Weisnewski on the band’s latest single, “I wrote ‘Year 3’ during the third year of Covid restrictions. It’s about all the boring shit we were all dealing with while losing the attrition battle against masks, social distancing, the endless and awful vaccine debate, etc. I’m really happy with some of the disgusting tones I got on the guitars. I tracked the bass riff in my kitchen one evening to my family’s displeasure. There’s a stupid amount of vocal tracks layered on there that somehow Matt Bayles was able to mix into coherence. He’s pretty good, that Bayles.”
Adds Everything Is Noise, “Even without a video, it’s easy to see rolling hills of desolation when you listen to ‘Year 3,’ tumbleweeds the only denizens visible, rollicking along fractured concrete roads and sickly fields alike. It feels like a reintroduction to the world after a major catastrophic event – fitting given the track’s inspiration. The guitar tones are indeed disgusting and remind me of something HEALTH would use with their buzziness – or maybe those are buzzsaw-esque synths I’m hearing at the crescendo in the beginning. The bass never quits and provides a warm intro in an otherwise ambient and cold moment. The heavily layered vocals stab through the haze and provide hope that something human remains in the darkest recesses of the world. I love it. It gives me chills. It has such a flow about it, moving from section to section with ease, nothing’s forced, and it all makes for the most unique song NUCLEAR DUDES has put out so far.”
Stream NUCLEAR DUDES’ “Year 3,” now playing at Everything Is Noise, at THIS LOCATION.
Boss Blades was written and recorded by Jon Weisnewski with the exception of the guest vocals by Dave Verellen (Botch) and Irene Barber (Dust Moth), which were recorded by Matt Bayles at Litho Studios in Seattle, Washington. The album was mixed by Matt Bayles and mastered by Ed Brooks at Resonant Mastering.
Boss Blades will be released on cassette and digitally. Find preorders at THIS LOCATION where first single, “Manifest Piss Tape,” can be streamed.
With twelve tracks, Boss Blades is NUCLEAR DUDES’ longest and most complex release yet, beginning with the gargantuanly heavy title track showcasing the legendary roar of Dave Verellen (Botch), immediately followed by the sludgy, driving riffs of first single, “Manifest Piss Tape” – an intentional homage to Melvins’ early-2000s lineup and style.
While Weisnewski describes most of the album’s lyrics and song titles as “nonsense,” there are a handful of poignant moments buried deep within the silliness: “Lasers In The Jungle” sees him and Verellen avenging Carrie Fisher by skewering Paul Simon’s attempt to gaslight her in the lyrics of “Graceland.” The synthy, almost doom-like track “Many Knives” employs the crystalline voice of Irene Barber (Dust Moth), whose lyrical metaphors of floating knives beautifully describe the feeling of being stuck and seeing painful outcomes no matter what move you make. And the album’s most outwardly reflective track “Guitart” adds saturnine acoustic guitar under a sample of Grace Jones musing about gender and sexuality in an ‘80s interview – at least three decades before that topic reached mainstream culture. The album concludes with the slow-building, ambient turmoil of “A Special Torture,” gracefully reining in all the chaos of Boss Blades and giving it a solemn sendoff. [Words by Cat Jones]