Rick Rude: Laverne [Album Review]

Rick Rude
Best Brother/Midnight Werewolf Records [2024]

The Fire Note headphone approved

Album Overview: Laverne is the third studio album, and the first in six years, by the New England-based band Rick Rude, which was released earlier this month through Best Brother/Midnight Werewolf Records. It follows the band’s tradition of homemade rock ‘n’ roll, embodying a sense of closeness and camaraderie among its members and listeners. The album delivers a thicker guitar punch compared to their previous releases, indicating a maturation and confidence in their musical approach.

Musical Style: Rick Rude’s musical style blends elements of classic, indie, and alternative rock. Their sound is captured by energetic guitar-driven tracks, dynamic rhythms, and layered vocal harmonies. Laverne showcases a confident approach with three singers and their male/female lead changes.

Evolution of Sound: From their inception in 2013, Rick Rude has evolved steadily, honing their craft and refining their sound with each release. Laverne marks a significant evolution in their catalog, boasting bigger guitars and a more seasoned approach to songwriting and performance. The album reflects the band’s growth and exploration of new sonic territories while staying true to their roots.

Artists with Similar Fire: Rick Rude’s sound draws inspiration from a large range of artists, that can include Led Zeppelin to Superchunk. If you like guitar-driven indie rock there is most likely a band in your current playlist that will come to mind but some of mine were Wednesday, Speedy Ortiz, Built to Spill, Pardoner and Ovlov.

Pivotal Tracks: “Winded Whale” swings for the fences with its big, screeching guitars and vocals. The track has a nice build from the lyrics to the chorus, making it irresistible not to hit repeat. “P2PU” has a very Speedy Ortiz quality to it, with Jordan Holtz on lead; she can turn up her vocal volume on a dime. “Square” is a cool instrumental that sets up the flipside, while “Agglutination” is a stylish track that builds from a foot-tapping soft tempo into a bigger wall of guitar noise, once again offering a taste of the album’s dynamic ranges and instrumental prowess.

Lyrical Strength: Rick Rude’s lyrics capture the essence of New England relationships and the bonds forged through shared experiences. With Laverne, the band continues to weave narratives and introspective reflections that only come with age that invites listeners to connect with their music on a different level.

Verb For Dreaming (2018) / Make Mine Tuesday (2017)

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Christopher Anthony
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