In Review: The Nude Party - Midnight Manor
Back in 2018, Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner dubbed The Nude Party’s ‘Chevrolet Van’ as one of his favourite tracks of the year, and shortly afterwards their eponymous debut album was released to acclaim. Now, following two years of non-stop touring, the sextet has released their highly anticipated sophomore album, Midnight Manor, featuring 12 more songs peppered with 70s riffs that are about girls, booze and, most importantly, having a lot of fun.
The record bursts out the blocks with the two-minute raucous rock ‘n’ rolling piano keys of ‘Lonely Heather’, followed by the jangly country and western inspired ‘Pardon Me, Satan’, sets the scene for an album that never lets up over the next 40 minutes. Within all the fun and games, there are some sad themes that are hidden by the joyous and upbeat music that they produce. ‘Thirsty Drinking Blues’ sees the protagonist sing about his troubles with alcohol and his loneliness following a breakup. “You turn the water into wine / Took a sip, but the rest was mine, oh no / Look what you made me do”. There are brief let-ups where the group slow down their relentless pace, such as ‘Time Moves On’ where front man Patton Magee sounds more Jagger-esque than ever before. Nonetheless, it is the pulsating and lively tracks such as “Cities” and “What’s The Deal?”, described by Patton “as a cross section of 1967 hitting the Stones, Velvet Underground and more” where the group showcase their best.
Album closer ‘Nashville Records Co.’ is a tongue in cheek song that takes a swipe at a music industry that they are caught up in but perhaps want to distance themselves from - the sextet, originally from North Carolina, live in New York’s Catskill Mountains where they continue to record, rather than a typical studio. “They're not here to relate, they're here to move records” cries Magee in perhaps the only song of 2020 that features a Kazoo.
The Nude Party have not only continued what they started on their debut album, they have excelled it by making another record that is, quite simply, very enjoyable. There’s a lot to be said for a record that exudes enjoyment; the band don’t really seem to care what anyone thinks as long as they are having fun. They play what they want and have subsequently made an album filled with sounds of the 70s, but belongs in 2020.
Midnight Manor is out now on New West Records.