New Music 3/8/19: Nick Waterhouse

Hot off the presses: new music!  Better said, new music that is worth your time.

Waterhouse

Nick Waterhouse – Nick Waterhouse – 11 tracks / 37 minutes

The Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter, and producer’s fourth LP is chock full of charm and musicianship, and eclipses even the high standard he set with 2014’s Holly.

 

Nick Waterhouse’s music conjures back another time: one of big bands, jazz, and soul.  He –along with his terrific backing band and lovely backing vocalists – conjure up images of black and white movies, big ballrooms, and cigars and cigarettes everywhere.  He lends his name to the title of his finest album yet, and we are treated to some top-notch jams that feature mellow but grooving basslines, copious keys and horns, and Nick’s charming and articulate old-school crooning.  These songs are all fairly simple and straightforward, but they’ll make you want to move and have more than enough nuance and style to grow stronger with repeated listens.

“I Feel an Urge Coming On” finds the man as direct and unrestrained as any time in his career, and its unbridled passion is catchy as all get-out.  Lead single “Wreck the Rod” is a great call and answer with backing vocals shouting “love!” repeatedly – warning: this two and a half minutes is a total earworm.  The best guitar riff can be found on the scathing “Man Leaves Town”, and the finest groove is the simple yet beautiful “Thought & Act”, my favorite track from this album.  On the latter track he sings “I’m with you, I’m with you, I’m with you”, and after you listen to it I think you’ll be with him, also.

If you are not familiar with Mr. Waterhouse, this is a great place to start.  Fans of his are in for an early present in what will surely be a big part of the sound of the upcoming summer.

Key Tracks: “Man Leaves Town”, “I Feel an Urge Coming On”, “Thought & Act”

Spotify album link: https://open.spotify.com/album/5FuI7EHS9mg4o9EsfFUsuc?si=K2TdWsvpSKOMKmwWKvzJ2Q

 

Also heard:

Meat Puppets – Dusty Notes

The desert-rock legends’ latest is much mellower than expected, with exception of the freaked-out and somehow just not right attack of “Vampyr’s Winged Fantasy”.  This effort isn’t a dud, but it is just a little uneven – other than the solid take on the classic “Sea of Heartbreak”, there is little to get excited about after the first three songs.

Buckcherry – Warpaint

This band continues to trend towards the mainstream, mellow balladry that resurrected their career – all while continuing to play the badass rockstar routine.  Don’t get me wrong, I still dig their music when they actually rock the Hell out, but too much of this is caught in between.

Fans of their early era (like yours truly) will probably enjoy the title track, a “rocking-all-night” party anthem that has an AC/DC-lite vibe (which I mean as more compliment than slight).  Josh Todd’s familiar theme of “rockstar cuz money, fame, and bitches” is revisited on “Right Now”, which I will admit is a personal guilty pleasure.