The Nude Party 'Rides On' With Their Latest and Greatest Album
Almost a decade down the line, the Catskills band continues to carry the psychedelic torch of the late sixties and early seventies.
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The last time we checked in with retro garage rockers, The Nude Party, was at an intimate set on a steamy night late last June. It was a raucous show that brought the band’s signature good times vibes straight from the Catskills. The covid that swept through our house afterward? Definitely not good time vibes.
The Nude Party is now back with their third full-length record, Rides On, an auditory trip through the late sixties and early seventies, with their barn studio serving as the time machine. For those familiar with the band, this may not sound like much of a change from their first two records, and you’d be correct. The thing is, The Nude Party is one of those groups that pick a lane and choose to barrel down the highway in a tank (with flowers shoved in the cannon, of course).
In 2020, when this newsletter was in its protostellar phase, I included their last record, Midnight Manor in my year-end roundup. Already a massive fan of The Nude Party’s debut, I described the album as adding a bit of twang to their already established formula of Exile On Main Street - era Stones, Lou Reed, T. Rex, and The Kinks. Rides On is still all these things, including kicking up the country-fried cooking a few more notches. “Word Gets Around” and “Hard Times (All Around)” both kick off the album in classic fashion, while The Nude Party mines the Nuggets box set for new psychedelic artyfacts on memorable songs throughout, like “Hey Monet,” “Ride On,” and “Cherry Red Boots,” complete with that unmissable opening drum fill from The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby.”
At the same time, this is the first album with The Nude Party self-producing at their upstate barn, like The Band at Big Pink, and it might be why Rides On is more relaxed and playful than their previous work. Things are much bluesier this time, like the barroom tack and harmonica on “Polly Anne” and the closer, “Red Rocket Ride.” We even have a magnificently greasy cover of Dr. John’s “Somebody Tryin’ to Hoodoo Me” for one of the record’s best moments. The press for Rides On notes that the sessions produced around twenty songs, including forays into electro-pop. Kudos to The Nude Party for including one of these selections with “Sold out of Love,” a song that sounds unlike anything in their catalog previously.
American music of the late sixties was a reaction to a country in freefall. Patton Magee’s lyrics retain that spirit, like on “Midnight On Lafayette Park,” which recalls when the National Guard rolled through peaceful protesters for a Donny T. photo opp back in 2020. Like the artists of that era, though, The Nude Party recognizes that sometimes all you can do is sing about it, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Right On is available on New West Records.
This is a reminder that you can hear songs from Right On and all the other great stuff that has come out this year. Thanks to everyone who started following the playlist this week!
"...when this newsletter was in its protostellar phase..."
That's some nice wordsmithing!