Back in the '80s, Nuclear Assault was one of the most unusual and engaging bands in the thrash-metal scene. Maybe it was their New York roots, maybe it was bassist Dan Lilker's ability to smoke copious amounts of pot. Whatever the case, Game Over, Survive and especially Handle With Care were fierce and fast records that also managed to be smart and funny. More than 10 years after their last studio album, half of the band ' Lilker and vocalist/guitarist John Connelly ' are back with two new members and a decent but disappointing reunion album. Gone is the vicious and spry bulldozer of sound from the old days; in its place is something reminiscent of a watered-down, late-model Overkill. Decent, sure, but nothing spectacular. Many of the messages are still intact ("Eroded Liberty," "Price of Freedom"), the humor still shines through ("Whine and Cheese," "Long Haired Asshole"), but other than a few songs such as "Fractured Minds" and "Human Wreckage," the band's legendary sonic violence has been sludged down to mediocrity.
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