Sweep The Nation
New York-based singer/songwriter Neil Nathan has here made himself over, Overlord-style, as an evil corporation – Neil Nathan Inc. – for his concept album, Sweep The Nation. These are songs that not only have the crunch of power-pop to them, there is bite and bile; there is anger – and it’s perfectly expressed on a scorched and scorching cover of Lou Reed’s There Is Not Time; imagine an overdriven Cheap Trick mustering just enough attitude in the playing to complement Lou’s powerful polemic.
Before that, with I Ain’t No Company Man, Nathan’s Joe Walsh-esque lyrics ride along on the relentless chug of a Detroit Rock City riff with just the whiff of T-Rex trailing behind.
Though this is very different to Nathan’s previous work there are still the references to so many power-pop heroes, Matthew Sweet, The Raspberries, Jeff Lynne…
Sweep The Nation might preach doom but it’s infectious and so full of hooks and there’s a charm to the (false) smarm. Nathan’s a great writer and player and here he builds on the more country-tinged earlier release, The Distance Calls. Showing a further depth, a fresh (sharp) angle.