Nick Waterhouse: Time's All Gone

Waterhouse shows himself adept at producing the energy and swing of the amalgamation of musical genres that was American pop music in the 1950s.

Nick Waterhouse

Time's All Gone

Label: IL Records
US Release Date: 2012-05-01
UK Release Date: 2012-04-30
Artist website

On his debut album, Time's All Gone, Nick Waterhouse plays a mixture of early rock and roll, blues, and soul. Waterhouse hails from California, and he was born in 1987, but his sound is that of his parents' childhood: the 50s. In that decade, Waterhouse's favored genres were still closely intertwined, before they began developing their separate identities in the 60s – either a coming of age or a devolution, depending on your tastes. It's the time of Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino and Bo Diddley, when bands began to spring up everywhere and fresh-faced kids in suits played music for high school proms (in the movies at least). Waterhouse recreates that classic sound with a glee that rivals the enjoyment experienced by teens when they first encountered this simple, propulsive music.

At 11 songs and 32 minutes, Waterhouse keeps everything short and sharp, as if he feels the urgency reflected in his record's title and memories of the 50s are about to slip away into oblivion. Female backing vocalists echo the Waterhouse's lead singing and provide the obligatory color of "oohs," "ahs," and "shoo-bops." Horns move between repeated, jabbing single notes, basic stutters, and simple, tooting solos. The guitar and piano punctuate steadily or power a rhythm with pounding, choppy riffs. Frequently the band falls out to leave a brief silence, or just Waterhouse singing unaccompanied for a few beats, before the instruments hurtle back in, as if they were storing up energy to return with renewed vigor. Waterhouse can scream, holler, and growl; he can also sing with more of a croon. At times he drops into a lower voice, more confidential, as if he were talking to a single girl at the front of the crowd.

The possible flaw in Waterhouse's record is that most of the 11 songs sound very similar. The building blocks and tempos of most of the songs are close to interchangeable and deeply ingrained in the country's collective musical consciousness. At a certain point, it can be hard to distinguish one song from the next. However, since it's just 30 minutes of mainly forward movement, this is hardly a major stumbling block.

The periods in American musical history that pop looks to for inspiration and emulation keep creeping back in time. Time's All Gone is single-minded, but this is often good for a debut – better for a young artist to do one thing well then several things in mediocre fashion. Waterhouse shows himself adept at producing the energy and swing of the amalgamation of musical genres that was American pop music in the 1950s.


To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

Keep reading... Show less

This film suggests that all violence—wars, duels, boxing, and the like—is nothing more than subterfuge for masculine insecurities and romantic adolescent notions, which in many ways come down to one and the same thing.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) crystalizes a rather nocturnal view of heterosexual, white masculinity that pervades much of Stanley Kubrick's films: after slithering from the primordial slime, we jockey for position in ceaseless turf wars over land, money, and women. Those wielding the largest bone/weapon claim the spoils. Despite our self-delusions about transcending our simian stirrings through our advanced technology and knowledge, we remain mired in our ancestral origins of brute force and domination—brilliantly condensed by Kubrick in one of the most famous cuts in cinematic history: a twirling bone ascends into the air only to cut to a graphic match of a space station. Ancient and modern technology collapse into a common denominator of possession, violence, and war.

Keep reading... Show less

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

Keep reading... Show less

Here comes another Kompakt Pop Ambient collection to make life just a little more bearable.

Another (extremely rough) year has come and gone, which means that the German electronic music label Kompakt gets to roll out their annual Total and Pop Ambient compilations for us all.

Keep reading... Show less

Winner of the 2017 Ameripolitan Music Award for Best Rockabilly Female stakes her claim with her band on accomplished new set.

Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones

Love You To Life

Label: Self-released
Release Date: 2017-08-11

Lara Hope and her band of roots rockin' country and rockabilly rabble rousers in the Ark-Tones have been the not so best kept secret of the Hudson Valley, New York music scene for awhile now.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.