Fresh off the back of my recent best of 2014 entries it’s time to pass over to a radical new theme, namely albums that completely passed me by because I wasn’t paying enough attention (hey, there’s bound to be a couple). This time last year I was castigating myself for missing out on stonkers from the likes of Cate Le Bon and Cut Copy in 2013’s rundown and this year’s one that got away looks to be Nude Beach’s colossal ‘77’, an almost over generous dollop of catchy ass guitar pop from the crowded confines of NYC’s indie scene. These dudes have toured with The Men so you know there’s gonna be something about them to love, although beyond what sounds very much like a shared love of 70s US radio rock they’re two very different beasts – whilst their tour buddies are partial to splunderous noise blasts the Nudesters are way more slick and snappy, serving up their ingredients with enough spit and polish to tempt mainstream radio over 18 potential smasheroonies. There’s a spot of Elvis Costello’s sneery New Wave, a little of Tom Petty’s road-friendly twang and even a noticeable smidgen of ‘Bandwagonesque’-era Teenage Fanclub, all reassuringly elegant influences that set this aside from some of the more bovine bar rock configurations aping Springsteen at his sweatiest. What’s more they sound like they’re doing it for the right reasons – indie kids can be pretty snotty especially when you’re dealing with NYC hipsters and there’s already far too many emaciated scruffs trying to ride passenger on the same set of New Order/The Cure LPs being passed around yet never really sounding like they mean it but Nude Beach sound like they’ve been slurping on the teat of melodic radio rock since they came into this world. ‘77’ perhaps appropriately focuses on the poppier heights of the late 1970s, losing itself in warm guitar licks and dreamy melody as tracks veer between snappy hook-based pop and sun-drenched road rock like the highlights of a long journey drifting by as you lose track of time. 18 tracks of this stuff makes it seem more like a compilation than a regular LP so you might say they’d have been better served guarding a few cuts for a void-filling EP six months from now after they’ve finishing touring the rest of the record - then again they’re no filler here despite the length so what the fuck am I complaining about? ‘77’ is well worth the asking price even if you pay per track like I do – snap this one up before it goes cold and bookend it with The Men’s latest and the debut from their offshoot Dream Police for a sumptuous session of seventies rockin’.
Check out : ‘See My Way’, which could’ve come straight off one of Teenage Fanclub’s early 90s records. And that ain’t no bad thing.