Bay Area quartet Whiskerman have come oh so close to crafting one of the very best albums of 2015 in “Nomad.” The first four cuts on the 10-track, 39-minute release are so good, in fact, the record was steamrolling its way onto my shortlist of year-end favorites. Unfortunately, Whiskerman are unable to maintain that level of awesomeness throughout, leaving “Nomad” as a very, very good — but not quite great — offering.
Fronted by Graham Patzner, Whiskerman mix elements of rock, country, folk and psychedelia to create an intriguing sound all their own. Patzner gets ample assistance from Nick Cobbett (drums), Will Lawrence (bass) and Charles Lloyd (guitar/sitar).
Those first four tunes — “Otis,” “One Good Way,” personal favorite “Cardinal City” and “Perfect” — are worth the purchase price all by themselves. The momentum noticeably wanes in the middle of the record with so-so entires “My Good Country” and “Deep Surprise,” but Whiskerman manage to close out “Nomad” with a flourish on the sublime “Consistency of Grace” and “Paradise.” I can’t wait to hear more from these guys. (Jeffrey Sisk)