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The Nickel Slots CD review

The Nickel Slots self-titled CD releases Sept. 11

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!"

The Nickel Slots release their CD tonight at Old Ironsides. Golden Shoulders and King Cab also perform. The 21-and-over show starts at 9 p.m. Cost is $7.


  • Sac Concerts Examiner 5 years ago

    Good looking out with the End of Summer Fest, thanks for the tip, I hadn't heard they called it off. Damn economy! Plus I was really looking forward to Jackpot next week.

  • Oakland Indie Music Examiner 5 years ago

    Didn't know Brodys guy was in this band. Country is not my thing, but I'll have to give the album a fair listen.