Patrick Nehoda – Vocals, Guitar
Grayson Papa – Bass
Jeremy Gill – Drums
01. I Don’t Know
03. Devil’s Bitch
04. Shakey Pop
05. Walk Away
06. But Anyways…
07. Just Another Season
09. Please Don’t Go
Over the course of the Covid-induced lockdown, I’d begun to replay a little video game called Red Dead Redemption 2 and delve back into the breathtaking yet ruthless world of the American West at a time when outlaws were being forced out and a new industrial revolution was taking place. It’s a masterpiece, and the debut studio album But Anyways… from Nashville rockers Nehoda would serve as an excellent accompaniment to the game, with its inspired blend of wistful Americana and blistering, ballsy hard rock dealing with themes of aging, heartbreak, and temptation.
After originally playing solo for around eight years, band founder Patrick Nehoda finally found his voice after meeting drummer Jeremy Gill and bassist Grayson Papa. The band shows reverence to a whole host of genres, from folk-rock to Americana and blues, from good ol’ fashioned rock n’ roll to the grunge scene that had emerged in the ’90s. Its title, But Anyways…, may seem flippant, but there is heartfelt sincerity in the trio’s writing and playing.
Patrick Nehoda is a master storyteller with a gritty and soulful voice and electrifying guitar techniques. Bold, hard-hitting riffs punctuate the opening track “I Don’t Know,” while a more subdued finger-picked pattern carries “Lies” to its beautiful ending. “Devil’s Bitch” is the real standout track for me, with its Doors inspired blues guitar riffs and extended musical passages across its 8-minute runtime. ‘I sold my soul, to be on that road,’ sings Nehoda with such conviction that you absolutely believe him as he leads the track to its exciting, raw and impassioned finale complete with heavy blues riffs and lead guitar flourishes.
The band takes inspiration from alt-rock bands such as Dinosaur Jr and The Subways on the catchy “Shakey Pop” while the title track verges into grunge territory; emulating the likes of Radiohead with swathes of contrasting light and dark sections. Calm guitar and drum patterns explode at the drop of a hat and launch into fuzzy bombastic choruses. Gill and Papa balance their roles perfectly across the entire album; Gill knows when to let loose on his kit and when to leave it understated, while Papa lays down a sturdy foundation on which the melodies are constructed to perfection.
Closing track “Please Don’t Go” is sublime and a well-crafted ballad dealing with the loss of a loved one; be it the death of a friend or family member, a collapsing relationship, or something else. It’s an emotion that everybody on the planet has felt at one time or another and this particular track will resonate with every single one of them. It’s a desperate plea as the song reaches an emotional climax. I think one or two more upbeat hard rock tunes would have made this the perfect debut album, but what is here is brilliant.
Put simply, this is a fantastic debut album from Nehoda and the trio should be incredibly proud of this record. But Anyway… is a confident listen from beginning to end and fans of The Cold Stares or The White Stripes may find enough to appreciate the record. There are some truly memorable moments here, and I’m looking forward to the official release in October. But anyway, go and listen to it as soon as you can.