Reminds us of: The Rolling Stones and therefore Primal Scream, The Velvet Underground, Sonics, Inspiral Carpets, the Doors, the Mysterians, Stephen Stills, the Byrds, Gram Parsons, loads of other 60's bands
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Back in the days before instant access to music via the internet, I broadly had two options when it came to listening to albums for the first time – buy or borrow. The buy option could be from new or second hand, and the borrow option would normally involve taping the album if I liked it (or getting a friend to tape the album and giving me the tape). LP Hartley was certainly right when he said that ‘the past is a different country, they do things differently there’.
If the album was a new release, I’d normally have heard, liked and possibly have bought a single from the album, and have read a review in either the NME or Melody Maker. This degree of familiarity would ensure that I’d be happy to part with my money. ‘Classic’ albums (either referenced by one of the artists I liked as an influence or championed by the music press) were however a bit of a lottery. I remember clearly buying ‘Horses’ by Patti Smith and The Clash’s eponymous first LP second hand from Romford Market, getting them home and putting them on, only to be hugely disappointed with what I heard. In fact I think I took them both back either that day or the next.
One album does that sticks out in my memory as a good find however, was Let it Bleed by the Rolling Stones. A great album from start to finish, I still love this album, as well as its predecessor Beggars Banquet and the follow up Sticky Fingers. ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ was also a big Balearic tune at the time which gave the Stones kudos. I also actively sought out music by bands like the Byrds and the Velvet Underground, having realised pretty quickly that I liked certain music from this era. As music has become more accessible I’ve continued to hunt down classic albums of that time and also from the early seventies such as Manassas. Which brings me on to the Nude Party.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first: the Nude Party is a terrible name for a band. They started playing gigs in the buff by all accounts, which is how they came across that moniker, but have unsurprisingly had to curb their naturist tendencies when they started to play regular venues. It’s not as bad a name as the Viagra Boys, but it’s not far off. Bad name withstanding, the Nude Party (let’s call them TNP) make good music that sounds very similar to that of the Stones, late period Velvet Underground, Byrds, Gram Parsons etc and on this basis they get the thumbs up from me. Their quirkiness also reminds me of the wonderful Colorblind James Experience, who wrote I'm Considering a Move to Memphis which if you’ve not heard you should – it may bring a smile to your face.
TNP come from Boone, a town situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina and a centre for Blue Grass musicians and Appalachian storytellers. They released their first ep Hot Tub in 2016. Their self-titled debut album was released last year and they’re about to embark on a few UK gigs, including a stint at the ‘All Points East’ Festival. Songs like Feels Alright which I put on my April playlist could fit right into the Velvet Underground’s third album or Loaded whereas Records could easily have appeared on ‘Exile of Main Street’ with the vocal performance uncannily close to Mick’s. The use of organ on tracks like Water on Mars and Live Like Me make for an Inspiral Carpets/Doors/Mysterians type experience. Elsewhere you can hear shades of the Byrds and the Sonics as well as probably loads of other 60’s bands. There’s a good review of the album in Pop Matters which I fully agree with and you can read about here.
If you’re a fan of any of these bands or of this mid-late 60s period music, give TNP a go. It’s not ground-breaking, but it is a decent listen and the songs are well crafted. The other great thing about TNP is that they should remind you to dig out all of those old classic albums again. Obviously if you haven’t heard those albums you are in for a double treat!