The Nude Party’s ‘Midnight Manor’
Willoughby Thom | Tuesday, October 6, 2020
You’re all invited to The Nude Party!
The New York-based band’s sophomore album, “Midnight Manor,” is a reincarnation of the Velvet Underground sprinkled with Mick Jagger’s swagger. The six-piece group, which consists of a mix of childhood friends and stepsiblings who escaped boredom by learning how to play instruments, was formed in 2012 at an Appalachian State University dormitory. The group is composed of Patton Magee as lead vocalist and guitarist, Shaun Couture on lead guitar, Don Merrill on the organ, Alec Castillo on the bass, Austin Brose as percussionist and Connor Mikita on the drums. Soon after their formation, the six of them decided to move in together and begin creating music.
During their time in their off-campus house, they would practice in the basement and throw parties while playing in the nude, earning themselves the local reputation of being the naked party band. Even though they are no longer playing in their birthday suits, they still proudly hold the title of The Nude Party.
The Nude Party released their first, self-titled album in 2018, and it was a prime example of the new reviving the old. Magee’s Lou Reed style of vocalization, the band’s very ’60s sound and the southern twang of the steel pedal guitar combine to form a sound which was once forgotten. It was an extraordinary experience. Unfortunately, the sparkle has dimmed.
The Nude Party’s new album, “Midnight Manor,” was a bit disappointing, to say the least. The album was predictable, and we already know the band is heavily influence by the ’60s. What made their 2018 album so great was their unspoken homage to their heroes and inspirations — “Midnight Manor” is lacking just that.
This recent release may contain a number of extremely catchy tracks, but it’s desperately missing the creativity and personality which we were all hoping it would achieve. No one wants the band’s sound to be radically altered, but the issue lies in the album’s lack of uniqueness. Unfortunately, it sounds as if they are trying to imitate their idols. By their sophomore album, the band should have evolved away from those tendencies.
Putting aside the obvious absence of creativity in “Midnight Manor,” they can still put together one of the best live performances I have ever seen. Each member brings their own personality and energy to the stage. At one moment you may be watching Alec Castillo on the bass wiggling, and then Austin Brose might catch your eye as he bangs on the bongos. The band isn’t suffering from a lack of energy; I’m just wondering where all that energy went in the making of this album.
The Nude Party
Listen if you like: The Velvet Underground, The Rolling Stones and Black Lips
Tracks to listen to: “Pardon Me, Satan” and “Thirsty Drinking Blues”