The Nomads – “Outburst”

If you told me that The Nomads put out Outburst in the late 1960s, I would have totally believed you.  They play stripped down, lo-fi garage psych… except they started playing it in the early 1980s… in Sweden.  Huh.  Go figure.

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The proto-punk garage style of the 1960s is one that has always captivated me.  The combination of psych, distortion, and feedback played in a sort of poppish style has a lot going for it, and The Nomads come pretty close to perfecting the sound, adding in elements of surf and rockabilly when it suits their needs.  Outburst (1984) opens with a very pop sounding “They Way You Touch My Hand,” reminding me of bands like The Birds and The Vaselines with it’s trippy, poppy hooks and vocals.  Contrast that with the rawness, speed, and 50s style rockabilly on “Real Gone Lover,” the instrumental surf track “Rat Fink A Boo-Boo,” the sort of Clash-esque “Bangkok,” and the proto Gun Club “Stranger Blues,” and you’ve got a band that’s sort of all over the place.  But in a good way.

All the vocals are in English, making The Nomads very approachable and a must for fans of the Pebbles albums and those into stuff like the White Stripes and the Gun Club.