Personal chemistry, defined as a connection or a bond or common feeling between two or more people is a valuable component in any interpersonal relationship and is often times the reason some bands “make it” and some don’t. It’s not enough for musicians to be technically proficient; there has to be a personal interplay for a group to achieve a level of success. I have always been intrigued by this phenomenon when it comes to bands I enjoy. The interplay between Jagger and Richards or Lennon and McCartney was palpable when they are, or were, together. Another layer to this intangible yet necessary component in the make-up of a band is when some of the band members are related. I find those bands like Oasis, The Kinks, The Black Crows and The early Allmans especially interesting. And although not siblings, the interpersonal relationships in Fleetwood Mac could fill a book and more than likely, fueled their massive success in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s.
Pudge is a band from Stockbridge Wisconsin who have been together for over 10 years playing local venues and smaller gigs. Pudge will always be together, maybe not as a band but when the McNamara brothers get together in the years to come at family reunions or at holidays, Pudge will live. Tony and Andy McNamara, the twins, took up music at an early age and when younger brother Tom took up the drums, they had the makings of a formidable power trio. Fast forward ten years and they have become seasoned musicians and have recorded a formidable debut album called “Closer to You” with some help from Phillip Fendley on guitar.
They cite their influences as Elvis, The Beatles, and Nirvana (and what musician worth his salt doesn’t these days). I think those influences are what drew the McNamara brothers to music but their sound is more reminiscent of The Cars and Cheap Trick, with a side of Against Me! thrown in. It is indie pop and indie power pop at that. The songwriting attains a level of sophistication without being too condescending or erudite and the music is straight forward but not in your face. Easily hummable melodies and hooks that stay with you are characteristic of this band from the badger state. Pudge has the chops and the savvy to move to the next level and with a bit of luck and tireless promotion I am confident that this band of brothers will, at a family gathering in years to come, look back at their career in music and be thankful they chose that path.
Highlight tracks: ‘Clarkson’, ‘Please Don’t Go’, ‘Need a Lover’ and the title track ‘Closer to You’
Uncle Duke; a.k.a. Rob Penland is the producer and host of "The Mad Music Asylum" a 4 hour weekly syndicated radio show and now a 24 hour streaming internet station.