Will Surface of The Rude Nephew Orchestra is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, author, and entrepreneur living in Denver, Colorado. He writes and performs all instruments with the help of his wife Bailey on vocals. Will has also written a sci-fi novel, a Guide to the Live Music of Frank Zappa, and a Guide to the Live Music of The Beatles. He is also the owner/founder of Shakedown T-Shirts. The Rude Nephew Orchestra’s latest release is a 13 track album entitled, “Rude Radio”.
The Rude Nephew Orchestra’s only mistake is existing in the wrong musical era and time. Had this project been born a decades earlier it surely would have been recognized universally along with other great acts. There was once a time where artists were not defined by a specific genre and allowed the freedom to approach different styles of music with creativity. For those that have followed this project’s musical trajectory, this album really should come as no surprise. Will Surface has never done what people expect him to do.
The Rude Nephew Orchestra changes style and sonic aesthetic, from track to track, on “Rude Radio”. With “Not The End of the World”, Will explores a softer, more delicate rock side, and conversely, with the title track, “Rude Radio”, amps up the beat and density tenfold. The larger point is that with his chameleonic creativity, comes authenticity and that is as much what makes his music transcendent as is his ability to write a good song.
“Something New” again switches the template to a powerful, down and dirty blues motif, featuring a fiery guitar solo. On the reggae rhythm of “I Want to Know”, Bailey steps to the mic, adding a desirable feminine touch to the proceedings. Her voice rings out loud and clear all across the track. “The Blue Room” unsurprisingly flips the script once more, building an electrifying jungle-styled rhythm that bangs with a vengeance.
The Rude Nephew Orchestra presents us with a master of song construction. No song on this album is just a repeat of parts. Each song is its own story; each follows its own progression and has its own purpose. The proof once more, is in the haunting instrumental, “News Radio” and then the restrained understated groove of “More Love More Money”. It’s the most subtle type of ear-worm any composer could wish to write. I found myself humming it and replaying the track over repeatedly.
“Loving You” reintroduces Bailey’s vocal resonance, backed by layered harmonies and a wall of dancing strings. Like most of the record, “Party Lines” is assembled using a great deal of vintage sounding gear, which gets a great warm funky sound going on, propelled by the jangling guitars. It’s back to the blues on “Simon Says”, where the deep conversational styled lead vocals continue to captivate.
The Rude Nephew Orchestra can make your head spin with the amount of diversity and creativity in their output. Which is exactly what happens with the powerful slow burn of “Fly On”, featuring an impacting, abrasive lead vocal, and screaming guitar solo, before the album close down with the enigmatic mood inducing soundscape, “The Blue Room, Pt.2”.
All throughout this album, The Rude Nephew Orchestra’s performances, arrangements and production values are top notch, while the music is constantly developing, standing apart from much of what is currently being released into the marketplace.