The ukulele revival continues and The Nukes take up the instrument with both gusto and abundance of ideas – though technically these really aren’t your everyday ukuleles.
The very experienced trio is David Parker on low G tenor ukulele, Snapper Thiele on banjolele and Ben Collier on tenor ukulele, and ‘Lucky Ones’ is their second album, recorded three years after featuring in the 2011 documentary Bill Sevesi’s Dreams.
The sounds they tease out of their instruments belie the fact that only three players and three voices have created this full, lush album. Combining the textures of their specialised ukuleles with folk songwriting idioms (and a hint of the blues on the quirky, layered Worms), ‘Lucky Ones’ is packed with catchy songs that are far and away beyond what many other similar groups are doing.
Some even hint at pop sensibilities – the hook-filled title track has a Bo Diddley-esque riff – the lightness of the instrument contrasting nicely with the dark lyrical subject matter. A highlight of the entire album is the vocal work – the trio’s harmonies are deft, weaving around each other to create a smooth, at times meditative wall of sound. The Nukes have delivered an album that surprises and delights at once.