I like music. I have a band. I’m gonna tell you all about it.
What I look for in rock: guitars, melody, guitars, energy, guitars, and guitars.
What can you say about a band that writes Tom Petty songs, and then sings them like The Boss?
Yes, I realize that last sentence was horribly reductive in a way that only the most hacky of the hack music critics indulge in. But what happens when it’s true? Should I ignore it completely? Go out of my way to pretend the blatant influences that are worn like retro leather bomber jackets don’t exist? But how can I when you sing the word “Baby” like that? What am I to do with you Nude Beach?
Well, I’m an Elephant -in-the-room kinda guy. So there the pachyderm is, right on their album II. Tom Petty fronted by Springsteen. Well crafted jangle pop with some earnest wailing, and a stack of Byrds records.
And none of the above is a criticism. I bought the vinyl, after all. With all the cookie cutter freak folk, and tepid garage* overexposing the wells I draw from, it’s a welcome change. I will say that I’m a much bigger fan of the upbeat singles than the mid-tempo numbers. Wield those hooks, boys! Wield them like two-handed swords!
*Obviously, there’s good stuff in these genres, but the wannabes are currently driving the bus into the lake.