Nervous Pudding (Andrew MacIntire, Kailey "Tapioca" Emerson, Shane Irvine, Ryan Todd and Jerk'ns) is a band from Washington, DC that recently released an eclectic debut entitled Oh, Tonight, which tips its hat to various genres such as punk, rock, folk and even blues. The songs are hit and miss and often suffer from numerous production issues but overall there is an endearing quality in which these songs are delivered that makes them worth your time to take a listen to.
The album starts with “Tonight,” which is pretty much completely inspired from 1950’s blues inspired rock and roll that Elvis Presley could get behind. It mimics the style so much that it feels a bit like something Ariel Pink would do. The song is decent but the biggest issue is the volume of the two different singers. Kailey Emerson who does some singing sounds like she is about eight dbs louder the MacIntire.
“The Problem” is a straightforward power chord punk song that is catchy and delivers. It is simple, to the point and fun to listen to. “Have You Ever Felt Sad?” was a nice change of pace and also one of the highlights of the album. It’s a sparse song featuring an acoustic guitar (and a bit of harmonica) and vocals and channels a bit of Jeff Magnum from Neutral Milk Hotel. The sparse material continues with “Josefin” but this time we are treated to Emerson’s voice which sounds its best and most natural on acoustic material. Her voice works when it’s not stressed and drips with an intimacy and melancholy that was lacking from the previous songs. “Like No Other” is a pop song that bounces along with a walking bass line and piano part while “Put Your Pain in Windows” has a deep, emotional resonance.
Oh Tonight is a solid album but suffers from a personality disorder, which causes it not to be fluid. The album’s first four songs mix distorted punk rock, blues (that it never revisits) and then segues into soft acoustic ballads and pop music. The songs are also sometimes out of time and slightly off key but despite these issues there are some very enjoyable moments on the album. The talent and heart is there and I am looking forward to see how they develop.
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