Nineball – Album Review
If you like flashy, over the top bands who thrive on cheap shock value or act provocatively simply for attention, then Nineball might not be the act for you. However, if you enjoy bare bones rock and roll that seeks to stimulate and puts emphasis on quality, then these Utica, NY natives are just what you’re looking for. Founded in 1993, the foursome released their latest album ‘DNA’ to critical acclaim, earning the band top honors for Best Hard Rock album at the 2015 SAMMY awards. ‘DNA,” just like Nineball themselves, is not one of those explosive, in your face CDs that burns fast and then fades away. Rather, it’s one of those rare records that manages to seep into your subconscious, and becomes better and more hypnotic with each listen. It’s mature and extremely well rounded, and really reflects the band’s long and extensive career.
The first single off ‘DNA’ titled, “Fight,” is perhaps the album’s heaviest song, featuring gritty guitar riffs from Dallas Sheppard and a powerful vocal performance from singer Joe Sweet, who has the quintessential rock and roll register. At times the group seems to channel Alice in Chains, with tracks such as “Teacher,” “Water,” and the stand out number, “Don’t Care” (which by the way would make for an excellent duet with Taylor Momsen). If I were to compare Nineball with anyone though, it would undoubtedly be Tool. Their first track, “In My Brain” is a prime example of this, featuring a rhythmic tribal infused beat from drummer Ken Delaney. The same could also be said of the slow and seductive final track “Window.” This song was the longest (clocking it at almost 8 minutes), but arguably one of the best. It begins with a slow, sexy bass line from Scott Henderson and builds note by note, the band clearly familiar with the art of melodious foreplay. “I wanna to see it in your eyes” Sweet sings, “I wanna see through your disguise. I wanna feel your pain.” On cue the band explodes, but only for a moment, before composing themselves long enough to tease you drawn out beats that will have you begging for the sweet release of the brief but satisfying break down. Their live version of this song (available on YouTube) is a must see, simply to connect with the band’s emotion, as is evident in their delivery.
In all, ‘DNA’ is a solid release from a band that clearly knows who they are and in comfortable being themselves, and as a result come across as confident, relatable and most importantly, genuine. So whether they’re winning Grammy’s or SAMMY’S, one thing’s for certain: we should be incredibly proud to have Nineball representing New York and showing the rest of the world that when it comes to rock and roll, it’s in our DNA.
Kelly Mason / The Fuze Magazine
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