Independent/TSM [Release date: 02.05.13]
John Nickoloff opens his debut 5 track EP/CD ‘Get Out Of My Way’ with hard rock pretensions but gradually moves towards radio friendly MOR material. Either way he’s got a great rock voice that effortlessly brings presence to well crafted songs.
It’s no big surprise then, to discover that Nickoloff previously sang with theFloridabased harmony-led rockers Rain Lord and later led the classic rock outfit Naked Rachel. Given the similarity in styles it’s equally no surprise to find that ‘Get Out Of My Way’ is full of booming hooks and salient guitar breaks on an excellently produced 5 track CD full of commercial potential.
Both the hard rocking title track with its Sammy Hagar style vocal, infectious hook and rumbling bass line, and the sing-along ‘Movin’ On’ stand out in particular, as a vibrant production pushes Nickoloff vocals to the front of the mix.
The production is handled by the esteemed Bill Champlin (Backstreet Boys) and multi instrumentalist and co-producer Matt Mckeown, both of whom are well in step with Nickoloff’s style. The end result is 5 tracks that rock consistently with double tracked vocals on the hooks and blazing instrumentation, leaving Nickoloff to do what he does best and fill each track with his great phrasing and a powerful vocal range.
All 5 tracks are polished efforts with the fist pumping chorus of ‘Not Giving Up’ being the kind of song that would suit Bon Jovi, though you do wonder just how big the market is for what was a 90’s phenomenon.
Still, as we all know Classic Rock is an enduring brand of music that continues to fill radio stations around the globe. To that end the ballad ‘Forgive/Forget’ with its uplifting chorus and big guitar figure might open a few doors, though the MOR chorus does come perilously close to the kind of stuff pumped out by boy band nowadays.
And there it is, John had added all the names the folks who generously donated to the kick starter programme that made the CD possible and on the evidence of this 5 track outing they all stand a better than even chance to be part of a successful project. *** (3/5)
Review by Pete Feenstra
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Pete Feenstra celebrated his 300th show in October 2019. Pete heads up a five-hour blues rock marathon when “Tuesday is Bluesday” from 19:00 GMT. Listen out also for his interview-based Feature show on Sundays (20:00 GMT)
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