The Perils of Revisiting the Past

All that is old is made new again.

Self-consciously reconstructing a bygone style is tricky business. Odds are you’ll end up sounding like a stale nostalgia act, when the goal is to create the illusion of spontaneity. Amazingly, a gifted few pull it off.

Nick Waterhouse
Nick Waterhouse
Innovative Leisure

California’s Nick Waterhouse revisits the slinky, pre-Beatles R&B he does so well on his self-titled fourth album. The cat has a winning recipe: fizzy, catchy songs, plus suave vocals with just a hint of a rasp, topped off by loose, swinging rhythms that don’t stop. But he’s not a tiresome purist or a hipster poseur, adding hints of garage rock, bebop, and funk to keep things fresh. This is groovy stuff, in the best possible way.

Bloodshot Bill
Come and Get Your Love Right Now
Goner

While he hails from the Great White North, Montreal’s Bloodshot Bill delivers an uncanny impression of a deranged southern hillbilly on his seventh album. Mumbling, howling and growling with feverish glee, he echoes ‘50s greats like Carl Perkins and Charlie Feathers, continuing the wonderfully shabby revivalism of The Cramps. Happily, Bill’s stripped-down take on vintage rockabilly never feels contrived, thanks to the obvious delight he takes in these wild-eyed displays. Come and Get Your Love Right Now could raise the dead, or at least your spirits.

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