If you’ve been anywhere near a pub in the Sunderland area which hosts live music in the last few years, chances are you’ve come across father and son duo Nutopians.
Ian Jackson is well known in the local music scene, as singer-guitarist in classic punk covers trio 1977, and he is joined in Nutopians by son Phil, who plays guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and E-bow, and has also taken on production duties for the first time.
Their live set contains lots of ‘80s post-punk and ‘90s indie covers, but they write their own stuff too, and they’ve just released Civilisation, their third album of original material in four years, on Brand New Age Music.
Anyone who’s seen or heard them will know what to expect, and it doesn’t stray too far from their trademark sound, as they wear influences like Echo and the Bunnymen and The Chameleons on their sleeve.
Opener and lead single No More Blood hooks you immediately, and there’s not a bad track among the 10 which follow, as they unleash chiming guitars, throbbing bass and rock-steady drums.
Welcome To Berlin is, for me, one of the best songs they’re written, featuring a delightful Skids-like guitar solo, while Everything Means Nothing sounds like October-era U2.
The moody mid-album instrumental Cataclysm brings an atmospheric sense of foreboding to proceedings, and it’s followed by the title track, which is one of their most epic yet.
The driving Sometimes All The Time is another belter, and The Cost of Life ends the album in style, and leaves you heading for the repeat button to listen all over again.
Nutopians are just getting better, and Civilisation is their finest album yet. You can buy it on CD or download from Amazon, eBay or Nutopians.Bandcamp.com