Tired of staring down at his shoes and replying, "I just play under my own name," Alex Sniderman formed The Nu-Sonics, a nod to the brilliant Edwyn Collins who used it before rechristening his outfit Orange Juice. Fans compare the Brooklyn band's sound to a collision of Big Star with Crazy Horse, or the results of Elvis Costello's imaginary songwriting collaborations with Keith Richards.
The band's new album, We're Not Happy 'Til You're Not Happy, is the culmination of bandleader Alex Sniderman's two decades of playing and writing. The album features 15 Sniderman originals in a variety of styles from delicate acoustic balladry ("Mr. Brooklyn," "Your Tornado") to mid-tempo Stonesy rockers ("Even If You Think It's Right") three-chord Faces/Georgia Satellites-influenced stomp ("Outta Yer Hands,") furious punk rock ("See Anything,") and Velvets/R.E.M. shimmery jangle "Don't Waste It On Me," "Golden Boy.")
We're Not Happy 'Til You're Not Happy boasts galaxy of talent including bassist David Conrad, drummer Melissa Houston, bassists Matthew Dunne and Richie Touseull, plus special guests like Sebadoh multi-instrumentalist Jason Loewenstein, and brilliant keyboardist Tyson Rogers, (possibly the only man that's backed both Don Williams and Eugene Chadbourne in addition to tons of others including Chris Stamey and Yo La Tengo.)
Nu-Sonics bassist David Conrad has played with seemingly everyone with The Uptown Horns, including my debut album's producer Wayne Kramer (The MC5), long before I met either of them. He also spent a long time in various bands with Marc Ribot, including The Real Tones, in addition to sideman work with such luminaries as Chuck Berry, Solomon Burke, and Sylvain Sylvain. David also writes, plays, and records with his group Conrad Y Skordalia.
Basic tracks of We're Not Happy 'Til You're Not Happy were recorded at Mix-O-Lydian in New Jersey (Mick Jagger, Peter Gabriel, The Feelies, Neal Casal) by former Nu-Sonics bassist Scott Anthony, and overdubs were done by Alex at home in Brooklyn. The record was mixed by Jay Braun (Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, The Stills, Cat Power) at his Melody Lanes Sound Recording in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.