Pele - The Nudes (Cover Artwork)


The Nudes (2000)


Though they're most famous on this site for seemingly breaking up at the wrong time, Pele was still a great band in their own right. Before the addition of the electronic layering that would be present on future albums, Pele played their own brand of lazy jazzy post-rock, all of which is featured prominently on The Nudes.

Pele's style of instrumental rock is far more Thrill Jockey (think the Sea and Cake, Seam or a less dense Tortoise) than Explosions in the Sky or Mogwai. If you're interested in epic soundscapes from your instrumental music, you'll have to look elsewhere. Featuring a member of the Promise Ring I can spot more than a few instances of musical overlap from that band's respective genre too, as well as other bands of their ilk such as American Football. Another less definable characteristic Pele has in common with these bands is an abstract sense of warmth that permeates from the music.

The songs on this album are relatively short and conventionally written for the genre, but still benefit from being obscenely catchy. While it may be odd at times to hear a verse-chorus-verse structure in instrumental music, tracks like opener "Nude Beach. Pinhole Camera" and "Visit Pumpy" manage to keep things moving in this fashion with their driving instrumentation and a good sense for melody.

Following this album, Pele's sound continued to progress into more electronic-based territory, which has been continued by some of the members in Collections of Colonies of Bees. Still, as odd as it sounds, if you're in the mood for what can best be described as "no frills" post-rock then I can think of few albums that deliver it as well as The Nudes.