The Nickel Slots first full-length release is a reminder of how great country music can be when it's not full of clichés about loving your country and hating your exes. Each song on the 13-track self-titled album is an Americana gem.
From the infectious and upbeat "Lucky Number 7s," which has an almost Irish folk-punk feel ala Flogging Molly (Well I've been up and I've been down/I gave the devil the ride around) to the slower and sappier "Evolution" (Well I thought it was all good, but now I'm starting to fidget for a solution/Well it's time for a smile and evolution), the sound is polished with just the right amount of guitar-driven rock and catchy hooks to land the album on both country and alternative rock stations.
Always the storyteller, lead singer Tony Brusca reflects on his younger years in songs like "Good Old Days" and "Stop Signs," but he also gets sentimental as he strums his acoustic guitar on love songs like "A Life So Unpredictable." (I was anarchy until you found me/I wasn't even looking/I was fancy free/Living each day trying anything new/Being so untrue/That you could see right through.)
Then there's the rowdy "If You've Got Nothing Good to Say" – the kind of song you can boot-scoot'n boogie on down to.
This versatility is not surprising when you consider the veteran musicians who make up The Nickel Slots. Brusca has long led one of Sacramento's most popular bands, The Brodys; guitarist Steve Amaral is from Popgun and Red Star Memorial; drummer Christopher Amaral is also from Red Star Memorial, and bassist and mandolin player Paul Zinn honed his musical chops with the UC Davis Band-Uh. Together the talented four have released an album that will have you singing along before you can even protest, "But I don't like country music!"
- Laura Winn, Sacramento Rock Music Examiner
The Nickel Slots debut CD was engineered and mixed by Joe Johnston at Pus Cavern and mastered by Eric Broyhill at Monster Lab Audio in Sacramento, California