To celebrate the release of their third full length record, Long Island bred rock n’ roll band Nude Beach took stage at Mercury Lounge, the classic Lower East Side venue that once upon a times hosted Sonic Youth, Radiohead and The Strokes. Released on New Brunswick, NJ punk label Don Giovanni, which has brought us great records by the likes of California X, Screaming Females, Waxahatchee and Laura Stevenson, 77 is an ambitious double record of pure american rock n’ roll. Most of the tracks would sound totally at home in the 8-track player of the long haired mooks in Dazed and Confused.
The Brooklyn trio Honey opened up, featuring bassist/vocalist Cory Feierman, a NYC native who I first saw perform as the “antics guy” with a local ska band. I saw the group open for Nude Beach last year and they were performing Spacemen 3-esque droney psych-rock with a projector over them. This year found them roughing up their sound towards New York punk, Feierman and guitarist Dan Wise trading vocals on fast riffy tunes that echoed Wipers, Misfits, The Dead Boys and The Cramps.
Nude Beach, once a punky trio, was augmented with a second guitarist and occasional keyboardist. 77 shows a specific stylistic shift for the band, away from punk and towards stoner-y classic rock, augmenting the already present Petty and Springsteen-esque songwriting with jams echoing Aerosmith, Thin Lizzy, Cheap Trick and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Singer/guitarist Chuck Betz donned a double neck guitar for twelve string jangle, played slide guitar and even pulled off a solo that sounded exactly like Brian May of Queen. Propelled by harmony vocals by their drummer Ryan Naideau, who is large in stature but tidy and economic on the kit, their new material was chock full of hooks. Nude Beach have been playing rock n’ roll to the indie crowds but with their new record, they seem ready to reach a more populist audience with their anthemic new record.
– Jamie Frey