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Niacin — Time Crunch
(Magna Carta MA-9059-2, 2001, CD)

by Mike Grimes, Published 2002-04-01

Time Crunch Cover art

Time Crunch is Niacin’s fifth overall release and second on Magna Carta. Like their other albums, the music is all-instrumental keyboards / bass / drums. However, the band’s sound has shifted more towards rock from the mostly jazz beginnings of the group. With three top-notch players, the band’s sound continues to be remarkably full for a trio. John Novello is certainly a Hammond master, and rips it up a little more on piano and synth on this release compared to earlier efforts. The synth solos on “Daddy Long Leg” and “Blue Wind” just rip. But fear not, the B3 never strays far from the spotlight. Billy Sheehan’s bass work and Dennis Chambers’ drumming are much more than your average ordinary rhythm section output too. Both these guys tear it up and take their share of the musical focus. The songs range in style from the funky blues of “Hog Funk” to the fast-paced rock in “Damaged Goods.” “Invisible King” definitely has some sections that sound a lot like UK’s “Carrying No Cross.” All the songs are originals except for two covers, Jan Hammer’s “Blue Wind” from Jeff Beck’s Wired and a shredding version of King Crimson’s “Red.” The cover songs fit in well with the rest of the material on the release and are indicative of the band’s wide-ranging influences. Fans of the jazzier side of Niacin will probably like Time Crunch less than the group’s early stuff, but rock and funk fans should enjoy it more.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 24, 2001 releases

Related artist(s): Niacin


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