'nikcuS is Noby Nobriga, Rusty Spell, and Kevin Young adlibbing every genre of music in their own funny way. Don't, however, mistake them with Weird Al--'nikcuS redefines parody in very loving and serious ways.

see Synthetic Fibers, Rusty Spell, The Naked Donnas, The Mnemonic Devices, The Immaculate Conceptions, Robert Brenton, The Strawberry Explosion, Gospel Assembly

Information: 'nikcuS Productions
Suggested first purchase/best of: Favorites
Suggested first album: Produced

'nikcuS (1990) -- It's at the same time not surprising and surprising that fifteen-year-olds recorded this album. Recorded on whatever tape deck happened to be around, the songs are goofy and juvenile, but have a certain degree of "they know what they're doing" in spite of it all, especially considering that they didn't set out to make an album or a band--it just happened. The songs are short, very funny, and even a little experimental-sounding. B

Adlibbing (1992) -- A more mature album with better production quality (they actually made two in between this one and the previous, later released as Leftovers I), this album is famous for the songs about farm animals (a remake of "How Now Brown Cow," "Beastiality," and "Pig Milkin' Contest"), but has just as many rockers. B

Graduates (1993) -- This one seems to be a collection of 'nikcuS playing "real" songs. They're doing the blues, techno, heavy metal, love songs, hip-hop, negro spirituals, progressive rock, country, surf, and top forty--most of the time with a straight face. You wonder, at this point, if they're serious and just not good at it, or very very funny. Eventually you figure out it's the latter. But if not, they are high school graduates now after all. B

Rockin' (1994) -- The title of the album says it all. Though 'nikcuS has to this point yet to pick up a guitar (short of a two string out-of-tune six string acoustic), they can rock on the keyboard like nobody's business. The drums are heavy in this one, too. The music is still funny and good, and it's the most focused album so far, all of them being loud rock songs. B

Plugged (1995) -- 'nikcuS borrows an electric guitar, buys a heavy metal distortion pedal, and makes up two chords that sound close enough to C and G. In the middle of all this, fittingly enough for 'nikcuS, is a PM Dawnish song with no guitar called "Trance Groove '95," one of the better songs on the album. This is almost a continuation of Rockin', only with guitar and less focus. B

Surprise (1996) -- Everything 'nikcuS has done to this point comes together in polished form (though not so polished that it's not 'nikcuS) on this surprise of an album. The opening tune, "Five Hours Ahead," caused one critic to say "There must have been some point when they stopped adlibbing." But they still are, as is evident in "I Screwed Up the Saved By the Bell Song, So I'm Gonna Start Singin' About This Sucky Song Song," in which Noby Nobriga gets discouraged with the song he's making up and begins singing about how bad it is. The country is here, the rock, the obsessions (prostitutes, farm animals, roads, dogs, drinking, the old west), and most important the funny. B

Produced (2001) -- After a five year wait, 'nikcuS comes back again, this time more "produced" than in previous years. Of course with 'nikcuS, this only means that they get a four-track and a handful of effects like reverb and flange. The musicianship is surprisingly better in addition to the production, making what might be a commercial album if it weren't for the fact that they're still being 'nikcuS: adlibbing all the songs and singing and laughing about jokes that only they seem to get (the best example, "The 6 Hole"). The album just jumps out, doesn't apologize or explain, and you have to take it for what it is. B

Leftovers: Volume I (1991) -- 'nikcuS creates their albums by recording hours of songs, then selecting the best ones for the albums. The worthy leftovers are put into this Leftovers series for the true fans. Volume I is almost a necessity, since most of the album is the two albums 'nikcuS created in 1991. Those two albums were eventually dismissed as official albums, mostly due to the fact that Kevin Young wasn't on them, but also because they felt they weren't as good. Some of album Heterogeneous (only six songs survive--the only existing tape of the full album was lost) as well as the complete a Paradox is here as well as three songs from a random 1991 session. What's here is oddly almost as good as anything else. B

Leftovers: Volume II (1992-1993) -- The outtakes from Adlibbing and Graduates, these are true leftovers, with just as much talking as song sometimes (not that the regular albums don't have that). It's interesting if you're a fan and if you can get through it (all 'nikcuS albums are around an hour long, and Leftovers are sometimes longer). B

Leftovers: Volume III (1994-1995) -- The outtakes from Rockin' and Plugged, this is naturally a rock and roll collection. However, many of the songs here didn't fit on those rock-based albums, making this collection interesting. If some of the outtakes from Plugged would have been included on the real album, it may have made for a more well-rounded listen. B

Leftovers: Volume IV (1996) -- An entire collection of outtakes from Surprise, and many of the songs here are just as good. Others, of course, are pretty crappy. B

Leftovers: Volume V (2001) -- The Produced leftovers, and all of them just as produced as the actual album, since they polished off all of the songs and then decided which ones to put on the album. Some classics are here, and it's one of the best and most listenable of the Leftovers series. B

Favorites (1990-1996) -- This serves as their greatest hits and ten year anniversary album (it was released Jul 2000), and the "favorites" in the title refers--theoretically at least--to fans' favorite tracks, not band members' favorite tracks (though they're often the same). At any rate, every song is classic 'nikcuS. It's a good place for beginners to start, even though the true heart of 'nikcuS lies in the real albums, not simply as individual songs. B

Copyright (c) Aug 2000 - Apr 2005 by Rusty Likes Music