New music we like: Nick Waterhouse

New music we like: Nick Waterhouse

We get a lot of records sent to us here at The A.V. Club. Fortunately, we end up liking some of them. In Playlisted, we share our latest recommendations.

Album: Time’s All Gone by Nick Waterhouse (out now on Innovative Leisure)

Press play if you like: That brief period in the ’50s when rock and R&B were synonymous

Some background: Nick Waterhouse is an L.A.-based singer-songwriter-producer who’s been playing ’50s-inspired R&B and greaser rock ’n’ roll since he was in high school. Not that high school was all that long ago—Waterhouse is only 25, though there’s no discernible trace of music made during his lifetime on Time’s All Gone. Waterhouse bears a passing resemblance to the crop of retro-soul artists who emerged over the last several years. But what separates him from the Sharon Joneses and Mayer Hawthornes trying to revive the good old days of Motown and Stax is pure, unadulterated, youthful wildness. Time’s All Gone is a late-night party record that actually sounds like it was recorded late at night: The drums are a little too loud, the horn section is loose and squawky, Waterhouse’s guitar licks shoot every which way, and the vocals swerve recklessly in and out of the mix. Waterhouse is aspiring to the sounds created by some of the wildest men in rock ’n’ roll: Little Richard, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Ike Turner. By that standard, Time’s All Gone isn’t as crazy as it could be, but it’s still a ripping good time.

Try this: The greasiness of Waterhouse’s music offers a shocking juxtaposition with his buttoned-up Buddy Holly façade, most of all on the hard-cut rock groove of “Some Place.” Waterhouse might look like a guy who’d rather offer up cookies and milk than a serving of attitude, but this song is capable of suspending disbelief for three and a half minutes.