Album Review

The Nude Party - Rides On

The hard-driving edge of their earlier releases may be mostly absent, but The Nude Party have a way of investing their music with a sense of personality that’s as undeniable as ever.

The Nude Party - Rides On Album Cover
March 16, 2023 2:14 pm GMT

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The Nude Party - Rides On

Label: New West Records

Release Date: March 10, 2023

Producers: The Nude Party

Tracklisting:

1. Word Gets Around
2. Hard Times (All Around)
3. Midnight on Lafayette Park
4. Hey Monet
5. Polly Anne
6. Cherry Red Boots
7. Ride On
8. Tree of Love
9. Somebody Tryin’ to Hoodoo Me
10. Tell Em
11. Stately Prison Cell
12. Sold out of Love
13. Red Rocket Ride

It’s not exactly a unique point to make that rock and roll and Americana share common ground. That common ground, of course, continues to be plowed nonstop. It makes it all the more revelatory when The Nude Party are able to pull on the roots of both forms to dig up something fresh on their third album, Rides On.

To be clear: The Nude Party, a sextet that formed in North Carolina that now live on a communal farm in the Catskills region of New York State, aren’t shy about wearing their Rolling Stones influence on their collective sleeve. Album opener ‘Word Gets Around’ starts off with a call-and-response from guitarist Shaun Couture and frontman/guitarist Patton Magee that mimics a signature Richards / Taylor motif almost to a tee.

That said, drummer Connor Mikita and his bandmates establish grooves so loose that the band sounds as light on its feet as it is surefooted, which gives the music an almost playful tone. On ‘Hard Times (All Around),’ The Nude Party channel the more rubbery, late-’70s Stones again, but shift tempos with such ease that it’s hard to deny how alive and free they sound.

For much of Rides On, one gets a sense of a band dancing casually through the past; unburdening the music from the feeling that the past is something to be captured outright or even re-lived. In spots, though, The Nude Party actually do put their own twist on old styles.

On ‘Polly Anne,’ for example, they bridge New Orleans with Nashville, strolling their way into an intoxicatingly laid-back hybrid of ragtime and early rock and roll. On ‘Midnight at Lafayette Park,’ they hit the sweet spot between the dusty recording ambience of vintage country, Jeff Tweedy/Uncle Tupelo-style cowpunk and ethereal Hawaiian slide guitar.

Meanwhile, having chosen to produce themselves this time out, each songwriter took the mantle on his own compositions, yielding a relaxed working atmosphere that seeps into the songs.

The hard-driving edge of their earlier releases may be mostly absent, but The Nude Party have a way of investing their music with a sense of personality that’s as undeniable as ever.

8/10

The Nude Party's 2023 album, Rides On, is out now via New West Records.

For all country albums released in 2023 and their release dates, see below:

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