The appeal in power-pop is its underdog status. For every Tom Petty or Cheap Trick, there are thousands of also-rans that never made the big time, from loveable losers like Big Star to just-too-weird-for-radio like Shoes. That sadness underscores power-pop and arguably heightens the songs to a different, more romantic place. You could make an entire alternate history of rock-and-roll filled with these three-minute near-misses.
And that’s exactly what Nude Beach does on ’77, the Brooklyn band’s third album. It’s a big record, spreading nearly seventy minutes over eighteen songs that draws a straight line from the Byrds through Weezer. All the jangling melodies and bar-band guitar solos show how interconnected this music is, a fact further solidified through Nude Beach’s recent tour with Austin’s own Roky Erickson. What’s old is new again on songs like “For You,” which matches a glam-rock beat to a sugar-sweet hook. It’s casually brilliant–just like much of the original source material.