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Album Review

The third studio album from this fusion power trio packs a two-fisted wallop and takes no prisoners. Billy Sheehan's bass solos on "Panic Button" and "Sugar Blues" are highlights, but, in truth, much of the record is practically a bass solo. His sound is crushing — not unlike the fat tone Chris Squire used to get in the early days of Yes, but pumped up with even more gain. John Novello wrings astonishing sounds out of the Hammond B-3 organ, and drummer Dennis Chambers gives every track enough rhythmic juice to power a small country. The instrumental cover of Van Halen's "Mean Streets" verges on silly, however. "Things Ain't Like They Used to Be" (not to be confused with the similarly titled Duke Ellington tune) isn't much of a song, and Glenn Hughes' guest vocal is overblown, but guitar ace Steve Lukather contributes tasty licks and a hair-raising solo. Niacin's sound can get a little wearisome after a while, but if muscular, technically adept fusion is your thing, this is your band. ~ David R. Adler, Rovi

Biography

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Having played straightforward hard rock with Mr. Big since the tail end of the '80s, bass virtuoso Billy Sheehan formed Niacin as an outlet for his jazz fusion and prog rock inclinations during the mid-'90s. The trio also featured keyboardist John Novello and drummer Dennis Chambers, both musicians who had crossed frequently between the worlds of jazz and rock during their careers. With Niacin, Novello devoted himself especially to the Hammond B-3 organ, a longtime mainstay of both jazz and prog...
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Deep, Niacin
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