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Nash Albert - Rude Beggar (Review)

Nash Albert, Rude Beggar

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

HE may hail originally from Tbilisi, Georgia but Nash Albert is clearly influenced by classic rock acts ranging from Tom Petty and the Stones to Lou Reed and David Bowie.

His debut solo album, Rude Beggar, plays like a tribute to the classic records that informed his childhood (and which had to be smuggled-in).

Recorded at Liverpool’s Bold Management Studios, and co-produced by former Icicle Works frontman Ian McNabb and Ciaron Bell, the ensuing album wears its heart on its sleeve and is clearly the sound of Albert cutting loose and having some fun. And while not entirely successful, especially during its slower, bluesier moments, it still succeeds in throwing in some solid rock and roll numbers.

As Love, for instance, opens with a vocal and guitar strum that Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie would have been proud to own, before somehow morphing into a more classic rocker that Elvis Costello could claim; while former single When I’m Not Around boasts a great ragged rock feel, some nice background organs and a chorus that’s both catchy and full of harmony. Albert’s vocals, here, are really gruff and offset nicely by female backing harmonies over the chorus.

City Is Burning, on the other hand, showcases a more moody, robust and edgy side to Albert, chronicling the idea of revolution and its effects on its people. The chorus, though, opens up into something more resolutely radio friendly and toe-tappingly catchy (albeit with a melancholy undertow that claims “our hearts are all broken”).

It’s on the more stripped down likes of Smile and Simple (ironically featuring McNabb) that the album falters… it’s acoustic offerings struggling to hit the emotional highs Albert was seeking and its vocals lacking as much impact (altough the guitar work on the latter does get good once it switches to plugged in).

But of the nine tracks that comprise the album, there are more hits than misses, with Thought As Time another highlight that’s delivered with hushed-style vocals and an insistent guitar hook that gives it a keen energy.

It’s little wonder, in fact, that he has been crowned ‘the godfather of the Russian alternative scene’ by NME. It’s an apt description and no doubt one that Albert himself would savour.

Download picks: As Love, When I’m Not Around, Thought As Time

Track listing:

  1. Rude Beggar
  2. Living Life
  3. When I’m Not Around
  4. City Is Burning

  5. Smile

  6. Into Your Ocean
  7. As Love
  8. Thought As Time
  9. Simple