Nude Beach – II

January 01, 1970

(Other Music Records)



The three members of Nude Beach grew up
together on Long Island and were in bands together starting in high school;
they’ve piloted Nude Beach for the last 4 years, having jumped to Brooklyn to
be part of that burgeoning music scene. Among their cited influences are Bruce
Springsteen (of whom I’ve never really been a fan) and Tom Petty (of whom I
am), along with the Replacements, the Byrds, the Jam and assorted punk bands; making
it through the whole album I also noticed some resemblance to the Plimsouls and
Sorrows, a New York band in the ‘70s, and similar rama-lama power-popish
flamboyance of both. 


Their music, those influences intact, circles
around a classic rock genre, but without any mediocre redundancy or artificiality. One comment I read about them really struck
true, “They’ve got the songs, they’ve got the sound, and they’ve got the
fuck-all attitude that just can’t be faked.” All that all rises to the top and
will be obvious to the listener pretty quickly, as the album seems to get
better with each subsequent playing. 
Lead guitar and vocalist Chuck Betz has a very likeable and outstanding
singing voice that was made to sing material like this, a little raspy, a
little rockabilly, and a lotta Dwight Twilley. Fellow Nude-ists include bassist
Jim Shelton and skin- beater Ryan Naideau. A pretty slick band overall, and a
well-packed second album that’s filled with likeable, well-composed songs.
“Walkin’ Down the Street” owes a complimentary tip-of-the-hat to Graham Parker.
Their first real pop sensibilities explode out early on “Some Kind of Love.”
This about when you know that you’re probably going to like these guys.


It Cool” is a sleek pop song with an early Beatles flavor, by way of Petty.
“Love Can’t Wait” features that hoarse, strangled-cry vocal style Springsteen
is noted for, yet the music is definitely not Bruce-esque, but rather more
melodic pop than his stadium-rock style. One number that really flies high and
fast, and, is a standout as well as a knockout, “Cathedral Echoes.” It reflects
the sound of many of the bands I cited above.


music next shifts back to late fifties and a cheek-to-cheek slow-dance at the
prom on “Don’t Have To Try.” Dim the lights, please. Betz really exhibits his
vocal abilities next on “Endless Night,” punching out raw and slightly strained
lyrics, accompanied by some nimble ringing guitar work to sweeten up the
anguish. “Loser In The Game” is the last of the ten numbers and, like the
previous number, a strong contender for the Standout Track selections. It’s
another tune strongly flavored by that Twilley-Sorrows sound, a throw-back to
the rock coming out of the ‘70s from the less-than-mainstream bands in the
underground scene then.


I’m confident that Nude Beach is on its way
and if they keep cranking out material like this, they should quickly make a
name for themselves not unlike fellow Brooklynites The Strokes and Clap Your
Hands Say Yeah. A September album support tour has them
covering the most of the West Coast.


DOWNLOAD: “Cathedral Echoes,” “Keep It Cool,” and “You Make It So



 Listen to “Walkin’ Down My
Street” and “Some Kind of Love” on

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