Wellington-based band The Nudge are renowned for their epic live shows – with good reason. Singer and guitar player Ryan Prebble rouses crowds into a frenzy, drummer Iraia Whakamoe pounds the skins with legendary energy and James Coyle plays his keyboard like it’s a woman’s body. Now the hairy trio have released their first album Big Nudge Pie. So what does it taste like?
First track Shook Me sounds for a long time like a lovely indie rock track, before some psychedelic 70s rock n roll moments sneak in and toughen it up. We first really hear singer Ryan Prebble’s unusual growly vocals on next track Moving in You, where he veers from ‘lover in the morning’ to ‘wild furry animal’ and ‘Tuvan throat singer’. Again the band mixes up the genres, beginning with a poppy sound that evolves into a Hendrix-style jam. Prebble is super snarly on It All Becomes Clear, where lines like “my fantasy is your catastrophe” sound as though they’re being spat and hissed by a pissed-off (but rather adorable) cat in a cage.
The first single off the album, Come Home, is a bluesy number with a stomping beat from Whakamoe and a wild wail from Prebble. Coyle uses the organ like a bass guitar, a fittingly 70s accompaniment to Prebble’s soulful guitar. Leif is a layered song with a long intro that strays into Pink Floyd territory, followed by a rare contained moment before Prebble throws himself into some haunting psychedelic blues. The Burden of Relief is a more spacious, eerie track that sends the listener chasing after Jefferson Airplane’s white rabbit. Yesterday’s Blues has a slow groove reminiscent of lazy Sunday morning lovin’. Coyle’s keys are a standout on this track, their sweet strains enhancing the wailing guitar. Golden Egg has a long swirling intro that morphs into a swampy rock hoe-down. In My Olds House is a catchy number that could almost have been written by The Black Keys, and final track Raising the Greyscale is an extended outro to a varied and original album that combines pop, rock, psychedelia, reggae and blues elements to wonderful effect.
The very clean recording lacks the fuzzy warmth of their live sound, but this tasty pie, served up in a colourful wrapper, is guaranteed to fill that hole in your stomach. The way that this pie goes from savoury to sweet, smooth to substantial, melt in your mouth to chewy is quite delectable. If Willy Wonka made baked goods, they would taste like Big Nudge Pie.
Kathryn van Beek www.joyriderpromotions.com
Click here to listen to It All Becomes Clear from Big Nudge Pie: