Nude Beach – 77 (Rating 4 out of 5)

nudebeachWith all of the ear-pleasing, genre-jumping, retro-vibing sweetness that is presented here on 18 tracks encompassing 65 minutes of listening pleasure, you would think that bringing to mind Tom Petty, Elvis Costello, Dwight Twilley, The Byrds, REM, Badfinger, and The Velvet Underground would be no less than a derivative and imitative mess.  But you would be wrong.  Very wrong indeed.

77 finds the group three albums in shedding their messier Garage Rock past in favor of a sunnier, more Power Pop band that would make Cheap Trick proud. There are more rockers than ballads here, but the slower tempo numbers including the George Harrison inspired “Time”, and “It’s So Hard”, a song that could have appeared on any Harry Nilsson record really show off the musicianship and sophistication of the band.

“Can’t Get Enough” is Elvis Costello meets The Replacements, and the 10 minute extended jam, Crazy Horse worthy guitar workout of “I Found You” is a stunner. You will think you have heard all of this before, but you haven’t, and if this honing of their craft effort is any indication of what is to come for this band the future will be so bright we will all have to wear shades.