Nude Beach - II Review
Posted by C.A. Bell on 08.17.2012
Sure, the music of Brooklyn is vogue, but can it still rock? Join 411's C.A. Bell as he takes a closer look at Brooklyn's young punks, Nude Beach.
I'll admit it. Generally, I find the music of Brooklyn to be unbearable. It's mostly a collection of aloof beards that seem more concerned with crafting their origin stories and 'experimenting with space' than they are with writing something...you know...enjoyable. When I think about the pile of albums I've had to endure where studio effects failed to take the place of talent, it gives me a cold shiver. Truth be told, this isn't really the music of Brooklyn. This is the music of immigrants. Over the past ten years, places like Williamsburg have become safe-haven for nerdy white guys with silly haircuts from across the country. I know because I was one of them (minus the haircut part). This music they make is more a product of the demographic than the environment. There is absolutely no substitute for the real thing. The New York Dolls' David Johansen pointed out as much with the song "I'm So Fabulous" from their last record. Thankfully, Nude Beach is a band cut from that same New York Dolls or Ramones mold. Much like those bands, Nude Beach comes from the outskirts of the city; Northport to be precise. The trio of Chuck Betz, Ryan Naideau and Jimmy Shelton play a brand of rock music that cuts to the bone and, with the release of II, prove this genre is as absolutely necessary as ever.
Nude Beach might share a hometown and spirit with the Ramones and Dolls, but their musical roots run quite a bit deeper. The muisc on II has its beginnings in some of the greatest rock music ever created. Names like Eddie & The Hotrods, The Only Ones, and even Mott the Hoople come to mind. Add to that loose rock bravado flourishes of album rock like Tom Petty or Bruce Springsteen and the picture begins to get a bit more familiar. That's right. What we are really talking about is an heir to the throne vacated by The Replacements twenty years ago. There have been a few other bands that have inspired that comparison before; The Hold Steady, The Strokes, and The Gaslight Anthem to name a few. Of all of the great work those bands have been responsible for, none of them come as close to the greatness of Tim or Let It Be as Nude Beach has on II. Perhaps only the Strokes' debut Is This It? will stand as a better all-around record, and I'm not even sure about that statement. With just the right balance of muscle and heart, Nude Beach have created an album that pays proper respect to everything that came before it, without sacrificing everything that makes the sound fresh.
The songs on II are not exactly the type of stuff that requires deep readings. Then again, deep reading isn't really the point. At the record's highest peaks (namely "Some Kinda Love" and "The Endless Night") the boys are really just playing silly love songs. That's what makes this record so great. Nude Beach aren't trying to reinvent the English language or save the world. They're just playing rock music and they are doing it better than anyone else has so far this year. Easily the best find I have made so far this year, Nude Beach's II is brilliantly imperfect. In truth, that is the only thing keeping it from being a perfect ten record. I'm not sure this band would be happy if they made something perfect. That makes me like them even more. This is the real sound of Brooklyn. Get used to it.
"Some Kinda Love"
"Love Can't Wait"
"Don't Have To Try"
"The Endless Night"
The 411: In short, II is the best album I've heard in 2012. The crushing guitars and raw energy make for a wonderful look back at rock's past. If we have any luck at all, Nude Beach is the future of rock too.