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Album Review - Must Be Nice - Side Pocket Louie

Album cover for Side Pocket Louie's Must Be Nice with tattoo style text along the top reading Side Pocket Louie, tattoo style text across a furled banner along the bottom reading Must Be Nice, and a hand holding a variety of credit cards, an insurance card, and a Bitcoin card flanked by two tattoo style roses in the center

I’ve been a fan of Philly cowpunk outfit Side Pocket Louie ever since getting booked to play a show with them last year to an empty bar basement before I knew anything about show promotion. (I’m still so sorry Ryan!) With each album, their lyrics have gotten angrier and angrier, and their third album is PISSED!

Their first album Low Roller had a mix of working class anthems and heartbreak ballads while still finding time for the lighthearted track “Air Bud’s Last Request” about the basketball playing dog’s post-career life as a washed up alcoholic. With their sophomore release, Dirty Hands, Dirty Money, they continued the same theme delving more into gut wrenching stories of “good people making bad decisions” as lead singer Ryan Gorham put it to me.

But this third album Must Be Nice dispenses with introspection and sympathy and aims unbridled ire at the working class. The title track which starts the album kicks the mansion door down with the refrain:

Must be nice, must be nice

Buy whatever you want at the grocery store without looking at the price

Go to the doctor when you’re injured without thinking twice

Must be nice, must be nice

From there the album doesn’t let up, with several anti-ruling class anthems; anger at nosy coworkers, Fox News, the cops, and bad tippers; songs about alcohol addiction; and two full band versions of some of the songs from the first album.

After three albums, Side Pocket Louie hasn’t lost their steam, and despite maintaining a consistency in their sound, they haven’t fallen into formulas. Definitely give them a listen, and catch them at a show when they come to your town.

Download the album from Bandcamp here or listen to it on Spotify here.


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