There's a reason Nick Oliveri's wearing a BLACK FLAG baseball tee in a photo for the packaging of "Leave Me Alone", credited to his near-one-man-brigade, UNCONTROLLABLE. The QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE/KYUSS/MONDO GENERATOR bassist strives here to serve up his own "My War", the deadliest punk record in history. Fielding bass, rhythm guitar, drums and vocals on "Leave Me Alone", unhinged is perhaps the lightest thing one can say about the album. Autobiographical to a discomfiting level, "Leave Me Alone" is hardly for those with squeamish constitutions.
Oliveri hijacks a cavalcade of guests and affiliates to supply guitar solos and supplemental vocals for "Leave Me Alone", including WEEN's Dean Ween, Stephen Haas from the MOISTBOYZ (likewise a hub for Ween), Marc Diamond, Blag Dahlia and Rex Everything from the DWARVES (Diamond also being with MONDO GENERATOR), Bruno Fevery from VISTA CHINO and none other than MOTÖRHEAD's Phil Campbell.
Greg Ginn he is not, but Ginn's famed buzz saw drones serve to fuel Oliveri's rant machine on "Leave Me Alone", dished mostly in the key of BLACK FLAG. Loud, raw and more punk-charged than anything Oliveri's contributed to in the past, "Leave Me Alone" is either going to pump you or alarm you. Either way, it will rouse you in some fashion.
"Human Cannonball Explodes", "Keep Me in the Loop" and "Come and You're Gone" ride the same searing riffs and hardcore drives as BLACK FLAG along with JFA and YOUTH OF TODAY, which is a lotta fun if you're the mood for retro-minded punk chunks. Be warned, however. The fun ends there as Oliveri screams "My kiss is my fist" and dumps the sickening sounds of a pool hall brawl into "Come and You're Gone". Someone's been drinking his black coffee and staring at the wall, as Henry Rollins once counseled for different reasons.
The confessional "The Robot Man" has Phil Campbell pleating a killer solo into the winding riffs and Ginn-aspirant fret shrieks from Oliveri. Police sirens and SWAT copters rail amidst Oliveri's grouses and screams, as if putting the listener front and center to his 2011 standoff against the L.A. law. Without Campbell's contribution, "The Robot Man" would be as start-to-finish unpleasant as the domestic violence accusations cast against Oliveri.
Right after "The Robot Man" comes the steadier stoner huffs of "Get Lost (With Me)", a QOTSA-styled rocker with Oliveri's dirty vocals (and planted girlie sex moans) instead of Josh Homme's posh croons. Oliveri's 1:42 acoustic instrumental for the title track likewise makes a QOTSA bid with a bit more pick-me-up before getting nasty again with the crusty, BLACK FLAG-driven "The Void".
As if trying to capture the latter's bombastic nihilism but somehow missing the point it wasn't a celebration but a condemnation, "The Void" is scary shit lyrically. In fact, most of the lyrics on "Leave Me Alone" are ugly and hostile, to the point one wonders if it's all blunt flagellation in self-atonement, or if there's something darker at the root of its author.
To the positive, Nick Oliveri does a pretty damned good job fielding the core stations on "Leave Me Alone" and bringing it all together into a bombastic punk affair that's not exactly "My War", but cut from a similar, wanting cloth. Oliveri's carousel of guests puts his UNCONTROLLABLE venture onto a higher plane that would've otherwise come off as the ravings of a pissed-off motherfucker. If Oliveri had any visions of entertaining this vindictive, confrontational sound in QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, it's perhaps best all parties went their separate ways. Enter at your own risk.