The Breeders – All Nerve – Album Review
Release date: Friday, March 2nd 2018
25 May – BELFAST, BBC’s Biggest Weekend Festival
27 May– DUBLIN, Vicar Street
For a certain group of people, it hardly matters what the new Breeders album is like, they’ll buy it regardless and wallow in the memories of what has gone before! While the Pixies have long since soiled their perfect record, the Breeders have hardly put a foot wrong. This is their first album in ten years, since the underrated Mountain Battles in 2008. Since that time Kim briefly returned to the Pixies before getting bored with the endless festival tours. She released a series of singles in 2013 which were very impressive. If issued as an album they would have done very well, but the single series never received the attention it deserved. One of those songs makes this album with ‘Walking with a Killer’ finding a new home.
Last Splash (1993)
Title TK (2002)
Mountain Battles (2008)
All Nerve (2018)
This incarnation of the Breeders has Josephine Wiggs on bass (1989–1995, 2012–present) and Jim Macpherson (2001–2003, 2008–2012) on drums along with the sisters Deal. Kim Deal is the only ever present member of the band, that has featured Tanya Donnelly (1989–1992) among others. Kelly Deal has been present since 1993 so is now part of the furniture. It is good to have Josephine Wiggs back on board and the ex-Ultra Vivid Scene bassist adds to the sound.
The album starts strong with Nervous Mary. The band are on familiar ground as Kim proclaims ‘Nervous Mary had a nervous day’ with a background of pounding drums. Next up are the two singles with Wait in the Car and All Nerve. They are short, punky songs with guitar and layered vocals leading the way. This is a very solid start and is only added to by MetaGoth, with Josephine Wiggs on vocals. Her accent comes through in her spoken vocals along with the pounding bass line as she proclaims ‘No one’s here to stay’.
Always struggle with the right word
Meow meow meow meow meow’ – Wait in the Car
Songs like Archangel’s Thunderbird and Spacewoman have a touch of filler about them and do little to add to the album overall. It is disappointing to have a number of prosaic tracks on what is a very short album, but there is a return to form later in the album with Skinhead #2 and the last track Blues at the Acropolis. Walking with a Killer is another highlight with Kim’s spoken lyrics and the slow steady beat driving it onwards.
Overall, this is an album that fans of the band will love. It feels like they were never away as they slip back into a steady groove in seconds. Don’t expect any epics as the songs come and go in seconds. The longest track clocks in at a mere 4 minutes 22 seconds, with most under three minutes. Their roots are in punk and it does show! Like slipping into a pair of old comfortable shoes, it is lovely to have them back! Their live shows in Ireland are not to be missed.
Track List –
1. Nervous Mary
2. Wait in the Car
3. All Nerve
6. Walking with a Killer
7. Howl At The Summit
8. Archangel’s Thunderbird
9. Dawn: Making an Effort
10. Skinhead #2
11. Blues at the Acropolis