Nude Beach Rock Lulus Tonight For Free
Even though I've never laid eyes on them, it's easy to recognize Nude Beach's Chuck Betz and Ryan Naideau at the Williamsburg coffee shop where we meet. Ripped leather jackets and Germs pins stand out against carefully sculpted hippery. Vocalist Betz, with his bed-head buffount hair-do, is a dead ringer for the Clash's Mick Jones. He says that The Clash are one of their primary influences-- you can hear that all over their latest release II. It's a jangly rock and roll record, closer to "Rudy Can't Fail" or "Train in Vain" than the currently unavoidable garage-punk sound. The record's initial pressing of 500 copies sold out almost as fast as it was picked up for re-release by Other Music.
Their sound is sort of the opposite of what you'd expect from a band called Nude Beach, which would be a saccharine hybrid of Best Coast, FIDLAR, and brightly colored umbrellas. But they seem amused rather than peeved at the avalanche of bands with Beach in their name. (See: Blood Beach, Beach Fossils, Ghost Beach) Here the old truism not to judge a book, or a band rather, by its cover actually holds true. "We called ourselves Nude Beach before all of that," says Betz. "We exist outside of those bands."
"I don't even know when that started," adds Naideau, who plays drums. Their name doesn't come from an attempt to cash in on a trend, but rather a reference to a Long Island --where Nude Beach was formed in 2008-- ska band that would play the local county fair. "They had a song called 'Nude Beach,'" says Naideau. "The lead singer was a bus driver who was a stoner."