Review Summary: The overlooked blues/funk/prog hybrid Nice 'n' Greasy from Atomic Rooster is also one of the band's finest moments.
Atomic Rooster got to 1973 with numerous lineup changes, but with Nice 'n' Greasy they proved themselves once again to be one of the most interesting and original rock acts of the 70s.
The lineup is without any doubt the most skilled Atomic Rooster have ever had. Goodsall's guitar work is stellar, and flows at ease between different styles, even coherently integrating his jazz fusion roots into the bluesy riffs. Parnell is a very talented drummer, he has an unpredictable rhythmic style, which is also groovy at the same time. Farlow's almost theatrical and sometimes solemn vocals shine over the course of the album, and he's a much better singer than Du Cann (just listen to his felt work in Can't Find a Reason). And last but not least Crane's keyboards are on fire, as always. Even the production here is very balanced and well made by Crane himself, as it manages to capture both each member's performance and the band's as a whole, by making each part from the compositions to shine at the precise moment, without taking anything away from anyone; which is something that's not easy at all to achieve when you have an ensemble of great musicians like this.
So each band member is perfectly at ease with each other and with the music they're playing, they're all very accomplished musicians, and they're all enjoying themselves.
The result is an amazing blues/funk/prog hybrid album that (at least on the original uk edition), despite being different from anything Atomic Rooster has done before, it doesn't have many flaws at all, and it also doesn't have a single weak track. With maybe the only exception being the reworked version of 'friday 13th'; and not because 'save me' is poor, but because to reach the heights of the original masterpiece is pretty difficult and the funky-tinged resulting "cover" is indeed not completely satisfying compared to that.
On the contrary tracks like the slow blues/fusion 'voodoo in you' spiced up with incredible guitar solos, the irresistible funky piece 'goodbye planet earth' written by Goodsall, the already mentioned soulful ballad 'can't find a reason', or the extremely catchy 'satan's wheel', in addition to being perfect examples of great musicianship, are among the best tracks in the entire Atomic Rooster's catalog.
The US and german versions of the album are not so great as the og version, since they remove 'goodbye planet earth' and 'satan's wheel' only to replace them with the mediocre tracks 'moods' and 'what you gonna do?'; the first which is a too long piano solo by Crane, and the second being a boring rock 'n roll piece written by Farlow himself that should be at most relegated to a single album as a b-side.