It seems like barely a few weeks back we were waxing poetic on the Money Fight release featuring the man who has made it his mission to inform you, the music lovin’ public, of what sounds should be hanging out in your headspace. The man in question is not only a non-stop treasure trove of musical delights produced by his own hand but also a great supporter and promoter of countless other rad artists around town and beyond that you should most definitely be hip to. Hell, researching the artists that helped out here on Several Nudes has caused a deep dive on a slew of other bands and albums so even when he’s not trying, Dug McCormack is helping spread the gospel of righteous Rawk to the people.
But I digress.
Another project born out of COVID-19, Several Nudes is unlike anything McCormack has laid down to date. It’s not necessarily “career-spanning” per se but it contains a lot of blood, sweat, and creativity that reaches back almost twenty years in some cases. If you’re already aware of Dug then you just know that bits and pieces of Psychic Dog, Square Ape, and more are going to seep in here so be prepared for a mega Rawk opus. But that’s not all there is to digest in this 39 track monster. You’ve got some Jazz, some Blues, some Indie, some Industrial, some Pop, some Country, some Punk, some Metal….get where I’m going with this? But despite the length and variety of genres, Several Nudes never sounds like a disparate, uncoordinated collection of tracks. There’s a definite method to the madness here that ebbs and flows and is less a peaks and valleys kind of album but more a peaks and peaks kind of album if you get my drift.
“The Loneliness Of Anger” creates an atmosphere akin to Jetta In The Ghost Tree (Ex-Flickerstick front person Brandin Lea’s latest outfit) to start before exploding into some Punk Rawk/Metal mayhem and then “Be Safe” is more of what fans have come to expect from the Psychic Dog singer and guitarist with a little more of a Rawk edge here. “Dog Food” just sounds huge as it heaps layer upon layer of psychedelic Sludge at listeners while “Juicing” is the first real tonal shift with all the piano and beats and a bluesy bass guitar giving off a vibe of John Scofield’s A Go Go record mixed with Trip-Hop.
Lazertuth’s Marc Arruda and Ethan Weiss (Also of Money Fight) pop in to lend their respective vocals and keyboards to “Industrial Bird Bath” for a Yes meets Fleetwood Mac ditty that’s all mood and vocal harmonies which gives way to “Always The Best” which sounds like late ’80’s Ministry with Bill Rieflin and Chris Connelly in the fold with the metronome-like drums just battering your ears and McCormack’s altered voice raising high holy hell. “Sick Real III” continues the noise trend for a heavy Mark Sandman-fueled sonic experimentation kind of thing and then “Parking Lots” is all kinds of weird and wonderful in much the way that The B-52’s or Wall Of Voodoo tantalized back in the day with keys eerily similar to something Mark Mothersbaugh would create.
“BUMMER” is all twang and attitude with McCormack delivering some laid back verses in his Northeast drawl, “I’M NOT HIGH” is wailing guitars and fuzzed out bass lines, and “Bucky’s Adventure” is just fun and foul (Courtesy of samples of Bucky Brenner as recorded by Kelly Clark McCormack). “You Are” is jazzy and loopy while “A Waste Of Life Is Time” is child-like yet ominous and the kind of music befitting the soundtrack for Stranger Things or, more accurately, an ’80’s sci-fi classic with the way it builds in both suspense and intensity. Spiraling out of that one, “oatmilk” is almost Bowie-esque and just dripping of the era of Outside and then ‘Hippo Zebra Giraffe” is another instrumental which is filled with subtle intricacies and heady minutiae for a quieter yet wondrous tune.
“Better Than Alright (I Like Love)” reignites the RAWK but still keeps it cool with a laid back vibe until rising into some glorious Psych-Rawk revelry. “Blind ’em” sounds ever so familiar with Jess Jacobs (Band Without Hands) lending her voice to this riotous Rawk fest and later, “NIGHT LUNCH” has a closing time feeling with the way the pianos swirl and sway. “Funeral Parlour” is actually pretty lively as it bounces along and “Destroyer” keeps that ball rolling further down the road for an uplifting and hopeful jam with bass from Hookerclops’ Erik Pietsch and an opening guest stint from Sapling’s Amber Tortorelli. Built from organ tones that shimmer and glisten with McCormack’s momentous vox seemingly delivered from up high, “Destroyer” is almost like that aforementioned Rawk gospel being delivered to the masses in the here and now. Forgive me for not covering EVERY track as there’s a lot to take in but I’d be doing a great disservice to Dug and YOU if I didn’t mention the scorching album closer “Carry The Book” featuring thrilling guitar work from CP Cool Hands and equally engaging drumming by Brendan Looney, both of President Jesus.
In conclusion, there’s a lot here to digest but it is definitely worth your time and attention. You get a bevy of styles representing a veritable cornucopia of genres with tracks ranging length-wise from one minute oddities and/or bangers to full-fledged 4-5 minute mammer jammers throughout. There’s something for everyone! My suggestion, though? Take a beach day with a cooler filled with some cold drinks, administer the sunscreen, put the headphones on, crank it up, and just enjoy an afternoon of unexpected sonic delights then rinse and repeat.
Several Nudes releases on June 20th through House Of Watts Records but you can hear the exclusive stream courtesy of US by clicking below. To get your own copy when it officially drops, head here. For everything Dug McCormack-related, follow him across the information superhighway by clicking here, here, here, here, or here.