II by Nude Beach (Album)
Nude Beach make their play to join the pantheon of great rock trios with their aptly named, sophomore release ‘II’
n last year’s collection of writings The Ten Rules Of Rock And Roll, The Go-Betweens’ Robert Forster asserted that “the three-piece band is the purest form of expression”. It’s a seductive theory when you consider the likes of The Go-Betweens themselves, Nirvana, Talking Heads (original line-ups!), The Jam, Husker Du, Cream, Violent Femmes, Galaxie 500 and The Clean. Brooklyn’s Nude Beach could be the latest addition to this esteemed roll-call.
Unsurprisingly, II is their second LP and has been picked up by New York’s Other Music store as the first full length on their new in-house label. The ten songs on II jostle side-by-side to each other in just over thirty minutes, combining the garage playfulness of Hootenanny/Let It Be-era Replacements with the staccato vocal delivery of late ’70s Elvis Costello or Tom Petty (and their many period imitators). You could argue that the album is a little front-loaded, with the excellent opening trio of Radio, Walking Down My Street and Some Kinda Love. But the remaining seven tracks, including the especially Petty-esque Love Can’t Wait, undermine this theory by clawing you back for repeat listens.
It will be interesting to see how their nascent talent develops. It’s not hard to imagine them following a Gaslight Anthem road to success, albeit with a much greater level of subtlety. Major label budgets, line-up changes, second guitarists or Strokes-like inertia could stand in the way of true greatness but with one pretty great rock & roll LP already under their belts, they’ve already reached a summit from which they can loftily stare down at those shuffling around base camp.
Verdict: A lofty collection that recalls The Replacements, Petty and Costello