Music

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
Amazon
iTunes

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.

6

Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

Alright Alright's "Don't Worry" Is an Ode for Unity in Troubling Times (premiere)

Alright Alright's "Don't Worry" is a gentle, prayerful tune that depicts the heart of their upcoming album, Crucible.

Music

Tim Bowness of No-Man Discusses Thematic Ambition Amongst Social Division

With the release of his seventh solo album, Late Night Laments, Tim Bowness explores global tensions and considers how musicians can best foster mutual understanding in times of social unrest.

Music

Angel Olsen Creates a 'Whole New Mess'

No one would call Angel Olsen's Whole New Mess a pretty album. It's much too stark. But there's something riveting about the way Olsen coos to herself that's soft and comforting.

Music

Masma Dream World Go Global and Trippy on "Sundown Forest" (premiere)

Dancer, healer, musician Devi Mambouka shares the trippy "Sundown Forest", which takes listeners deep into the subconscious and onto a healing path.

Music

'What a Fantastic Death Abyss': David Bowie's 'Outside' at 25

David Bowie's Outside signaled the end of him as a slick pop star and his reintroduction as a ragged-edged arty agitator.

Music

Dream Folk's Wolf & Moon Awaken the Senses with "Eyes Closed" (premiere)

Berlin's Wolf & Moon are an indie folk duo with a dream pop streak. "Eyes Closed" highlights this aspect as the act create a deep sense of atmosphere and mood with the most minimal of tools.

Television

Ranking the Seasons of 'The Wire'

Years after its conclusion, The Wire continues to top best-of-TV lists. With each season's unique story arc, each viewer is likely to have favorites.

Film

Paul Reni's Silent Film 'The Man Who Laughs' Is Serious Cinema

There's so much tragedy present, so many skullduggeries afoot, and so many cruel and vindictive characters in attendance that a sad and heartbreaking ending seems to be an obvious given in Paul Reni's silent film, The Man Who Laughs.

Music

The Grahams Tell Their Daughter "Don't Give Your Heart Away" (premiere)

The Grahams' sweet-sounding "Don't Give Your Heart Away" is rooted in struggle, inspired by the couples' complicated journey leading up to their daughter's birth.

Music

Gloom Balloon Deliver an Uplifting Video for "All My Feelings For You" (premiere)

Gloom Balloon's Patrick Tape Fleming considers what making a music video during a pandemic might involve because, well, he made one. Could Fellini come up with this plot twist?

Film

What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .

Music

Brian Cullman Gets Bluesy with "Someday Miss You" (premiere)

Brian Cullman's "Someday Miss You" taps into American roots music, carries it across the Atlantic and back for a sound that is both of the past and present.

Music

IDLES Have Some Words for Fans and Critics on 'Ultra Mono'

On their new album, Ultra Mono, IDLES tackle both the troubling world around them and the dissenters that want to bring them down.

Music

Napalm Death Return With Their Most Vital Album in Decades

Grindcore institution Napalm Death finally reconcile their experimental side with their ultra-harsh roots on Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism.

Film

NYFF: 'Notturno' Looks Passively at the Chaos in the Middle East

Gianfranco Rosi's expansive documentary, Notturno, is far too remote for its burningly immediate subject matter.

Music

The Avett Brothers Go Back-to-Basics with 'The Third Gleam'

For their latest EP, The Third Gleam, the Avett Brothers leave everything behind but their songs and a couple of acoustic guitars, a bass, and a banjo.

Music

PM Picks Playlist 1: Rett Madison, Folk Devils + More

The first PopMatters Picks Playlist column features searing Americana from Rett Madison, synthpop from Everything and Everybody, the stunning electropop of Jodie Nicholson, the return of post-punk's Folk Devils, and the glammy pop of Baby FuzZ.

Books

David Lazar's 'Celeste Holm  Syndrome' Appreciates Hollywood's Unsung Character Actors

David Lazar's Celeste Holm Syndrome documents how character actor work is about scene-defining, not scene-stealing.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.