The new self-released album by Aussie rocker, Nudge, ought to come with a sticker that reads 'Warning: listening to this record will cause constant toe-tapping. Consult doctor if not.' This self-titled debut is filled with enough hooks and catchy choruses to guarantee that you will be humming some part of it for days after. Nudge, who is really just one very talented guy named Stephen Cook, has a unique sound - basic guitar and drums rock 'n roll with a 60's psychedelic feel and a punk simplicity throughout. Cook plays all the instruments on the album, which lends itself to the cohesive and tight sound that permeates these 11 songs. In addition to the psychedelic lead guitar that fills the album (but without overpowering it), it is the solid drumming that propels the album. The songs on Nudge cover a little bit of everything. Are you pining for a lost love? Try 'Maybe' or perhaps the drinking-her-off-my-mind song 'When Tomorrow Comes,' where 'numbness compared to pain is twice as good.' Or perhaps you are head over heels? Then put on 'Moonlight Time,' with it's nice acoustic touch and soaring chorus. Actually, love is a common theme on the album whether it be for a lover, a motorcycle, as with 'She!!,' a touching ode to his Harley or music as in 'We All Live For Rock 'n Roll', where 'you can't break free when it takes hold.' Cook's writing also stands out whether he is painting a picture, creating empathy or nailing a situation in a single phrase as he does with 'you're my Christopher Robin.' Lyrically, Nudge covers a lot of territory and taps into many emotions, though keeping it more upbeat and optimistic than maudlin. While there is not a clunker among the 11 tracks included here, there are several that stand out. 'Christopher Robin' is a rocking number that conjures up images of childhood friendships and simpler times. 'When the Children' is an anthem for parents of all ages and he speaks to them as he sings, 'when I'm weary of fingerprints, spilt milk and demands on me, I close my eyes and daydream about how it will someday be.' The closing track, 'Introspection' is a weary, sad reflection on life where 'people tell me who I am instead of saying I can do anything that I can.' It is a wonderful end to a great album. Musically, this is a great album to do most anything whether it be driving in your car or hanging with your kids. The mostly up tempo tunes bounce along nicely leaving you in a great mood by album's end and ready to do anything. But you better do it fast as the album wastes no time in raising your spirits, clocking in at about 30 minutes. Nudge is a stellar debut that leaves your toes looking forward to the next batch of tunes in which to tap along to. -Chigaco Music Monthly.
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