Like Man . . . Or Astroman, Nucleon has created a myth of interrupted time travel. According to press materials that accompanied its debut, Hyper Emitter
, band members were "scraped out of a bong the size of an industrial shop-vac, animated like golems, and given music instruments by an evil, interstellar mad scientist who abandoned them in Cleveland." There's even a link on the band's website (http://nucleon.cjb.net
) that will take you to "space" (in this case, a blank screen), and the band, which includes singer-bassist-keyboardist Paul Resnik, drummer M.L., and guitarist Rich Troha, travels to gigs in a tin foil-covered car that doubles as a space ship. Man . . . Or Astroman makes use of stage props and samples lines from obscure B-movies to play up its sci-fi fantasy, but even that group can't prevent the gimmick from becoming tiresome at some point.
With fluttering effects that sound like a flurry of lasers, "Washed Away," the opening track on Hyper Emitter, fluctuates between heavy, Sabbath-influenced interludes and spacey, psychedelic noodling. The rest of the tracks on the album, which was recorded at Velocity Studios in Lakewood, follow suit. Resnik's gruff vocals are characteristic of stoner rock bands such as Queens of the Stone Age and Monster Magnet, but often sound so muffled you can't make out the lyrics. At its most interesting, Nucleon has the qualities of good psychedelic rock -- the swirling guitars and soaring electronic noises that open "Future Rot" are groovy and mind-numbing. But too often, Nucleon makes drug references that suggest its members have spent too much time passing the bong in the basement.