King Nectar is a high octane, fun-loving, original rock group based in Hoboken, N.J. The members tell me that they met at an Alien Abduction Support Group (AASG) in 2013. Their bio lovingly states that, “After sharing their frightening, yet exhilarating, stories with the group, they realized their experiences were eerily similar. Each had been abducted by the same ship, captained by a charming and experimental alien leader known as “‘King Nectar’.”
For nearly a year, King Nectar routinely grabbed these rockers before completing his mission objective; to inject the right amount of “nectar” into each musician so that they could effectively disseminate his message throughout rock club audiences. Once they were deemed worthy, the band members were knighted by King Nectar and given their new rock ‘n’ roll names.
Hence, the band formed under the name, King Nectar, ready to rock in his very name. The message? You’ll need to come to a show and decide for yourselves…but wait, now you can experience it by listening to the group’s debut album, You’re Welcome, from the comfort of your very own mission control…and, yes, you are welcome!
When it comes to influential humans from our planet that the band likes, the list is extensive and varied. Listing everyone from The Beatles, Beck, Beastie Boys, Flaming Lips, Jack White, The Black Keys, Rodriguez, Led Zeppelin, The Kinks, Cage the Elephant, The Districts, David Bowie, Joan Jett, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jimi Hendrix, Porno for Pyros, and CSNY, King Nectar is indeed covering all the bases.
Dominick Della Fave is someone I’ve known for quite some time now. He is the guitarist and supporting (to his talented sister Jaime) vocalist for Jersey favorites The Fave and has been compiling songs in his crazy head for two decades. Other members of King Nectar include Dave Calamoneri — who is Hoboken’s politico singer/songwriter, acoustic guitarist, and leader of Davey and the Train Wreck. He also slings his bass, and hips, for fellow Hoboken rockers Nipsey & Molten. Rob Nicholas Evanick is a soulful singer-songwriter and acoustic guitarist who is spreading his nectar while being plugged in for the first time (so to speak). Chuck Tumulty is Hoboken’s most versatile and hard-working percussionist who jams with all who are worthy, including Alice Genese, Liam and the Pounds, Gold n’ Brown, The Fave, and many more. He is also the pioneer of the hard rock band, Molten. Greg Corra is the man with a keyboard plan. He has contributed to many local tracks in the past including on records from End of October and The Fave. He has returned to the scene with a vengeance. Collectively, these fine gentlemen are King Nectar. Broken down individually, they each have specific names within the group as well. Dominick Della Fave as “King Dom” (vocals/guitar), Rob Nicholas as “Even Nickel” (guitar), Dave Calamoneri as “The Merry Cal” (guitar/bass), Chuck Tumulty as “Tim Chuckleson” (drums), and Greg Corra as “The Coral Beef” (keyboards).
The band recorded You’re Welcome at Beechwood Studios, and the project was engineered and mixed by Rick Bartow. The project was produced by Bartow and King Nectar.
So, let’s take a listen to some of the songs on You’re Welcome and see if we can dissect the strange and alien world of King Nectar and the otherworldly sounds that they create.
“You’re Welcome” opens to the low, growing feedback of electric guitars before the band kicks in and Della Fave starts singing. I really like how he comes out swinging with the group. It’s like, bam! There he is. Lyrically speaking, Della Fave digs deep as he explores the intricacies of our daily lives and separates the god from the bad and the ugly without being preachy. The rest of the band adds perfected nuances with every note they play. Drum’s stomp and pound as bass thrum a steady backbeat alongside. I also love the synth work of Greg Corra, who ads the bands “out of this world” sound to the mix. Della Fave is one of the areas most underrated guitarists, and he demonstrates his prowess on this smartly written opener.
Utilizing chords, riffs, and melodic pentatonic licks, Della Fave takes the listener on a journey built on skill and quality. The composition itself is solid and different than most of the usual rock formulas you hear nowadays. Diverse, free of typical commercial construction and filled with freedom and original thought, “Cracks” is a winner.
Moving around a bit I came to “Look At You Know.” Constructed from a kaleidoscope of ideas and styles ranging from the 1960s and 1970s, “Look At You Know” chugs along at a dreamy, laid-back pace unlike the early days of The James Gang or even some old Neal Young. Della Fave is blessed with a strong and powerful voice which comes across like gangbusters here. Instrumentation doesn’t skimp here, and acoustic guitars blend with electrics, bass, drums, and keyboards as Della Fave tells the tale of his outlook on life. I love the background over talk which reminds me of something The Beatles used to do. Backing harmonies are seamless before the lead guitar comes in to take the song into the final measures of its fleeting existence. The main thing I see in these songs so far is a unique presentation and approach that shuns typical mainstream for compositional quality and authentic art, and I like it.
Another outstanding song is the acid-laced diamond “The Moon Is Dripping.” The song opens with an offbeat, funky riff performed by the band before the vocals kick into the mix. And when they do kick in the are a mixture of fuzz-drenched magic and powerhouse melodic storytelling that can only come from the mind of Della Fave. The chorus is powerful and addictive as the band pumps along with their raunchy track. Guitars are all over the place, as keyboard synths and organs lay beautiful layers over the top of bass and drums, and Della Fave exposes the soft underbelly of emotional relationships over the top. The wah-wah is another excellent accent to the song, and the overall vibe leaves you with the feeling that this band has gone places that Lenny Kravitz has only dreamed about.
As usual, I’ve run out of space, but I did want to mention the last song on this nine-song disc, which is called “Crazy Town Girls.” King Nectar shows the world how they blend funk with roots rock and blues on this quick, closing number and it’s a sure-fired winner of weirdness. Things kick off with a train whistle and a conductor announcing, “Next stop, Crazy Town!” Then the band is in and its full tilt party mode from then on. Guitars lead things off with a raunchy riff that drags the rest of the group into Della Fave’s description of the girls of Crazy Town. “The girls are freaky/Those girls are freaks/The girls are hippies/They’re good to eat.” The song ends with an organ serenaded multi vocal chant of “You’re Welcome.” The perfect ending to a disc that’s overflowing with talent and fresh, new songwriting ideas. I would highly recommend You’re Welcome as something to add to the connoisseur’s collection of musical delicacies.
The band will be hosting a record release party at Fox and Crow in Jersey City on Jan. 25. The event is called Live in the Parlour and will be a great room to see one of New Jerseys most original bands do it thing. For more information on King Nectar and You’re Welcome, head over to facebook.com/kingnectarhoboken.