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Music The Breeders

Published on March 13th, 2018 | by voxx

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The Breeders – All Nerve

The classic line-up unite for startlingly fresh LP…

Beginning with Pixies’ bassist Kim Deal and Throwing Muses’ co-frontwoman Tanya Donnelly in 1989, The Breeders’ shifting line-up seemed to crystallise with the roll-call that recorded 1993’s platinum-selling Last Splash: Kim and Kelley Deal, Josephine Wiggs and Jim Macpherson. It was this group that reunited for the Last Splash anniversary tour in 2013 and that subsequently set about recording a new album. The result is startling in its freshness.

The first Breeders album in a decade, All Nerve is less the sound of a band trying to revisit the vitality of its youth, than a collection of musicians who don’t appear to have ever lost it. While lead single ‘Wait In The Car’ displays some of the band’s characteristic punk muscularity, joie de vivre and winning way with a stomach-lurching staccato and anthemic chorus, the album’s most interesting moments actually come in the darker, hazier tunes. ‘MetaGoth’, for instance, sets off in scowling Pixies mode, but acquires a new energy from its unexpected vocals: strangely dislocated and marked by a crisp enunciation.

Similarly, it’s the tender, almost frail voice in the verses of ‘Spacewoman’, followed by the fury of its chorus, that turns the track into something special as it swings between stark isolation, intense congregation and back again. As ever, the basslines remain one of the band’s greatest attractions, crawling beneath ‘Nervous Mary’, ‘Skinhead #2’ and ‘Dawn: Making An Effort’, bringing something that – 30 years down the line – feels both dangerous and delicious.

- By Jake White


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