9 April 2018

The Breeders - All Nerve


Anything Kim Deal releases will always be followed by the phrase, "formerly of The Pixies".  This is something that she is never going to escape, but I do think that it does The Breeders a disservice.  I've always had a soft spot for The Breeders, even if their discography has been hit and miss at best.  Kim Deal has always had something interesting to say, usually quite loudly and with a lot of swearing.  All Nerve is the first album from The Breeders in nine-year, as well as being the first album by the classic Last Splash line-up in twenty-five years.  There was a buzz about this release before it was released on March 2nd, 2018.  But since it's been released, it's sort of fell off the radar a bit.  Not too sure if that is because of the usual pre-album hype that comes from any release, or if it's a poor record.  I'll admit that I'm a bit wary of All Nerve.  Any time a classic line-up gets back together, there is the possibility of a fall from grace.  But, there is also the chance of a gold return, so what will it be?

All Nerve is not Last Splash part 2, which is a very good thing.  The last thing that The Breeders needed was to try to focus on past glories.  If this album had have contained a song called "Cannonball 2", I think it would have smacked of desperation.  What The Breeders have done though is play to their strengths, hide their weaknesses and released a slow, brooding record.  Songs such as "Howl At The Summit", "Skinhead #2" are sludge-like, you have small pockets of energy in the forms of "Nervous Mary" and "Archangel Thunderbird" which will have their fans pogoing like it's the 90's.  My favourite song is "All Nerve", it has that classic Breeders tone, their stop-start chorus and verse and it has love at its core.  I would also give a shout out to "Meta-Goth", it sounds like a tribute to the sound of Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Smiths, an electric version of This Mortal Coil and a hint of The Pixies as well.

However, there are a few issues with this album.  The first six songs are clearly stronger than the later five, you can hear the drop quite loudly.  Also, the momentum of the record never really kicks out of second gear.  As good as these songs sound, the ordering just frustrates the listener so much, which knocks it down a mark or two.  However - and this is a big however - this is a nostalgia trip without actually playing the nostalgia card.  It's not aiming for this, but that is one of the by-products of All Nerve.  Anytime that I hear Kim Deal, I'm taken back to my youth as that voice helped define a great period of my life.  I like the fact that The Breeders are still releasing records, all bands should strive to do this, but this is only a decent album at best.  I still think that there is still more to come from The Breeders, this cannot be the full stop, can it?

6 out of ten - Now, I see where you're going, but it's not quite there.

Top track - All Nerve

You can purchase All Nerve on Amazon here.

You can visit The Breeders website here.

You can follow the activities of The Breeders on Facebook here.

You can stream All Nerve on Spotify here.

You can stream All Nerve on Deezer here.

You can stream All Nerve on Tidal here.

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