Nicnos II Album Review
OKLAHOMA CITY- Nicnos is a five piece Oklahoma band featuring Josh Cox (vocals), Blake Parks (Fiddle and harmonies), Nick Sigman (lead guitar and acoustic guitar), Jerred Bauer (drums and piano), Jared Gaiser (bass). They released their self titled album in May 2014, and currently have a new album called Nicnos II. Their music is a mix and fusion of several genres; rock, blues, funk and more. It offers a unique blend of music and lyrics which set them apart from the rest.
Their biography says “Nicnos delivers a show that exudes high energy, strong vocals and talented instrumentation that intrigues you, be ready to fall in love with their original sound showcased on their debut album, Nicnos. Enjoy their showmanship and feed off their energy!”
Nicnos II features 10 songs, and was recorded at Lava Lounge Studio and mixed by Blake Surrell. “Changes” was recorded and mixed at Artisan Studio. All songs were written and produced by Nicnos.
“Reign” starts off with a quirky little keys stroke and pounding beat that is hard and heavy right away, they aren’t playing around here. It has a great rocking instrumental jam session for the first minute before the vocals start quick and to the point. It’s got a fantastic hook that pulls you in and leads you on a roller coaster ride of rock with lots of attitude and spunk. The vocals are smooth and mellow, and the instrumentals funky and interesting. The song ends on a minute of jamming as well.
“Changes” starts off sudden and in your face as well, rocking from the start. The rhythm and beat keep it interesting. The vocals are full of soul, smooth and full of feeling. The fiddle work in it is phenomenal, and the guitar solo towards the end of the song shreds beautifully.
“Water” starts off as a slow bluesy song, with a rocking beat and guitar infused throughout. The fiddle adds a mournful sound which balances it all out, and the fiddle solo is fantastic. The vocals are smooth and full of soul.
“Blow My Mind” starts off with a funky beat and jumps right into a jazzy bluesy number, full of sass and fun. It’s a provocative and flirty song, and shows the diversity and range of the band to not fit into one box.
“Can’t Buy This” is funky song that makes you want to move instantly. It grooves along beautifully with an almost rhythm and blues feel to it. It has a great beat and a catchy chorus with echoing backup singers that add a quirky and fun little twist.
“Spaghetti” gets us back into the full on rocking vibe, with a little funk thrown in for good measure. The added sounds of the fiddle give it great variety, adding layers and depth along with a uniqueness. It chugs along just instrumentally, a good jam song that slows way down towards the end and just gives a funky jam that makes you want to move along with the beat. It’s a great song to close your eyes and just feel the music.
“My Last December” is slow and sweet, a heartbreak song full of bittersweet imagery. It’s raw and real, a song about someone you love being over you, and facing the end times. It’s a tragic love ballad, and the vocals show Cox’s range for sure.
“Hangman” starts off slow and smooth and builds up, funky and grooving. The addition of the tornado weather warning makes it even more interesting and fun, all the Okies can recognize that familiar sound for sure. It’s full of soul and attitude.
“Sheep” is a lovely song that offers a great message as well, about being “sheep” in the world, falling asleep at the wheel and just going along with the crowd in everything. It’s still got that funky bluesy feel, full of soul and attitude. It’s a great tune.
“Waitin’ on You” is a hidden track on the album, it starts off with a few moments of silence and then the static sound of an old record playing. It’s got a honky tonk vibe, laced with country fiddling and Cox putting on an exaggerated twang to his singing. It’s a fun song for sure, and adds a completely different spin compared to the rest of the album.
Overall it’s a fantastic album full of variety and spunk, and is highly enjoyable. You can find out more about Nicnos on their website at www.thenicnos.com. You can also check them out live at Mayfest in Tulsa on May 21, at Rocklahoma in Pryor on Memorial Weekend, June 4 in Midwest City at the Made in Oklahoma Festival, June 10 at Moore Summer Nights, and at G Fest in Muskogee on June 17. Among other places.