Let the reviews speak for themselves:
MUSIC: Wertico is taking you someplace new. The ex-Metheny sideman is on a sonic travelogue into a parallel universe where blues, country, hard rock, and jazz fuse (ah! stereonucleosis) in a more exploratory way than they can on planet Earth.
DRUMMING: The journey is fueled by Wertico's thirst for polyrhythms and hunger for adventure. He's not just playing the music; he's base-jumping into it. The intro track, "Corner Conversation" is a scary percussion-only mix of chimy gongs, claps, and drums that foretells the psychic distance the album will traverse. "You Can Get There From Here" is a pounding bullet train of a drum track overlaid with Twilight Zone-percussion. You hope for more when it abruptly ends. Most of the recording holds up to that promise and Wertico excels at creating a massive drum sound while remaining soulful and dynamic.
VERDICT: Quirky beautiful, but with some radio-friendly tunes. Could be the Wertico breakthrough. - DRUM! Magazine
A brilliant release - Wertico shows a thrilling disregard for stylistic boundaries - Anyone who has been listening to jazz during the past 25 years already knows that Chicagoan Paul Wertico ranks among the most creative artists to hold a pair of sticks. But no one -- not even fans of his radiant, life-affirming CD Don't Be Scared Anymore (of 2000) -- could have been fully ready for his galvanic new release, StereoNucleosis. If Don't Be Scared Anymore was a philosophical statement expressing Wertico's ebullience and optimism as man and musician, StereoNucleosis is nothing less than a riveting summation of Wertico's audaciously sweeping view of the percussionist's art. Strange sonic effects, sweetly shimmering brush strokes, hard-driving funk beats, other-worldly musings on acoustic and synthesized instrumentation -- it's all packed into one of the most intelligent, creative and alluring percussion recordings of the past decade. Not that Wertico simply bashes relentlessly on his drums throughout. On the contrary, his freewheeling ideas on sound, texture and rhythm inspire comparably provocative work from the viscerally exciting guitarist John Moulder and the versatile bassist-trumpeter Eric Hochberg (both longtime Wertico collaborators). Yet these players, and others, don't so much assist Wertico as indelibly merge their sound with his. Together, Wertico and friends -- including multi-instrumentalist Brian Peters and keyboardist Barbara Wertico (the drummer's wife) -- unfurl an unmistakably communal music that nonetheless places Wertico at its heart. From the lyrical chimes and pulsing backbeats that drive the first track, "Corner Conversation," to the haunting reverb effects and exotically bent pitches of the aptly named "Somewhere In Between," this is a recording that takes listeners into uncharted aural territory. By dipping into flamenco-influenced scales and rhythms on "First, Bass," electric blues vernacular on "The Eleventh Hour" and abstract eruptions of pitch, color and noise (including the occasional barking dog) on "Down And Out On The Farm," the Wertico unit shows a thrilling disregard for stylistic boundaries. In fact, purists of jazz, pop, blues, rock or techno will not draw comfort from StereoNucleosis, for the recording draws liberally from all of these genres, and others. In lesser hands, this almost-anything-goes approach to the art of improvisation might seem chaotic and unfocused. Wertico and the band, however, make it cohere through the seamlessness of the ensemble playing, the distinct musical vocabulary of each track and, above all, the range and vigor of Wertico's percussion. Unleashed from Pat Metheny's band, in which Wertico played for many years, the drummer finally has given full voice to his art. It takes decades to achieve this level of virtuosity and vision, and with StereoNucleosis, Wertico reaffirms his position among the most restlessly inventive drummers working today. - Chicago Tribune
A Grammy-winning Pat Metheny Group alumni and a master of drumming insanity, on StereoNucleosis, Paul Wertico journeys through a curiously diverse instrumental collection that blurs the lines between happy, organic world music and dark King Crimson-esque adventurism. At times recalling the fragmented vignettes of the Bozzio/Mastelotto project, here Wertico uses a cornucopia of layered percussion to sculpture the well-recorded, earthy material. On the guitar-based pieces, Wertico's powerful, spirited grooves are mostly rock/funk-based. Musically (and drumistically) radical, artistic, and unpredictable stuff. - Modern Drummer
Though most of us likely know of drummer Paul Wertico from his 18 years and 7 Grammys with the Pat Metheny Group, what many may not know is that Wertico's also got his own group with whom he's been performing and recording for years. This is where he is most himself: eclectic, powerful, stylistically fearless and original. StereoNucleosis, Wertico's latest release allows the entire ensemble to shine on collaborative originals which run from West African solo drumming rainforest action to vintage fusion and rock à la Mahavishnu, Crimson, Floyd, Zepplin; all influences that have been a part of him since growing up in 60's Chicago. Though with Metheny's projects he's had the chance to work with everyone from Charlie Haden, Ernie Watts, Gil Goldstein, Derek Bailey and David Bowie and his own The Yin And The Yout was populated with legends Dave Holland, Dave Liebman, Richie Bierach, Vic Bailey and Metheny himself, Wertico sees this release as a true personal statement. And it really does come across as that. Fans of Metheny, Crimson, McLaughlin, Scofield, MMW and Charlie Hunter should all enjoy StereoNucleosis. - JazzReview.com
One might wish that Wertico would step out more; his recent records, such as 2000's Don't Be Scared Anymore and the new StereoNucleosis, are stunning examples of the electronic, rhythmic and intellectual directions jazz could be going. - LA Weekly
For starters, drumming maestro Paul Wertico's StereoNucleosis, his fifth solo outing, is not a jazz record. OK, now that the jazz fascists...er, purists, have left the room, we can get on with talking about this patchwork quilt of sonic delights. Wertico has followed some interesting paths in his 30-plus-year career, from working with Pat Metheny and Larry Coryell to Kurt Elling, Terry Callier, and Ken Nordine. But nothing in his recorded past could have prepared listeners for this album. All the stops and boundaries blur before disappearing into the clear light of musical emptiness. And in that space where a whole slew of artificial categories existed is the abundance of music as a universe unto itself. Wertico's collaborators on this excursion into the heart of sonic inquiry are his partner, the composer and keyboardist Barbara Wertico, double bassist and trumpeter Eric Hochberg, guitarist John Moulder, and electric bassist, guitarist, and violinist Brian Peters. The album's opener, a solo percussion piece called "Corner Conversation," whispers into existence. Wertico dances on an array of small percussion instruments and drums for a little over a minute before huge-sounding choirs of hand drums and tom toms rain down like blessed-out thunder, offering that exuberance and abundance do indeed have a sound. And as it ends, a few small rhythms usher in the sheer magnificence of "We Needed The Rain," where fat bass lines, electric guitars, trumpet, keyboard loops, and Wertico's kit entwine in a swirling, shimmering procession of near transcendent beauty. Some lazy fool will be tempted to call this groove jazz, and if it is, so be it — bring on the grooves. This is the music Carlos Santana strives for at his best, and it is reminiscent in feeling of "Song of the Wind" from Caravanserai. John Moulder's guitar solo literally sky dances in the mix. "Desert Sky" gets to the same place, but it's more aggressive. Drums and keys shimmer before splitting open the mix, and once again the guitars scream with a very intense and focused lyricism. There are more free-form moments on the record as well, with the taut elliptical improvisation in "Somewhere In Between," where all instruments function as percussion, whispering and tentatively moving around in a nocturnal mix. "The Eleventh Hour" begins with a cacophony of feedback and dissonance before becoming a bluesy, funk groove. And in "You Can Get There From Here," African percussion cadences thrust into the open space of the mix to be colored by feedback and angular chords before giving way to the quiet, acoustic six-string opening of "What Would The World Be," full of ethereal progressions and languid tempos as it walks slowly into the warmth and intimacy of converging harmonics. One of the most compelling things on the set is "Almost Sixteen," a shambling blues tune done Delta drone style led by Hochberg's guttural bass and vocal moans striated by a terse yet infectious melody line from guitars and minimal keyboards and Wertico's trademark double-time shuffle. In sum, the true measure of StereoNucleosis' wealth and importance is that there is nothing remotely like it in your record store — and hopefully it is in your record store. Wertico and his players have done something wonderful and rare: they've actually created something not only different, but also truly new. In the words of Henry James, "the thing that cannot be repeated" is the true definition of art. StereoNucleosis certainly qualifies. - All Music Guide