When the Deal sisters re-assembled the lineup from their seminal Last Splash album for a 20th anniversary tour in 2014, they didn’t know how it was going to go. But, the tour went off without a hitch and any ill-will that seemed to exist between the Deals, drummer Jim MacPerson and bassist Josephine Wiggs appeared to dissipate into the ether. Thankfully, those good vibrations continued and have now culminated into a brand new Breeders album, All Nerve.
The first thing that becomes immediately apparent when listening to opening track “Nervous Mary” is how warm and welcome Kim Deal’s voice is. It’s like hearing an unexpected voicemail from a long lost friend.
The second thing that becomes apparent is how great the band sounds considering they haven’t recorded together in over two decades.
All Nerve could have just as easily been released as an immediate follow-up shortly after Last Splash.
MacPherson and Wiggs have never received their due credit for being a rock-solid rhythm section - a situation hopefully rectified with this album. "Walking With a Killer" has that subtle dreamy syncopation with a tantric build between the two and in contrast, "MetaGoth" - the two drive that downbeat strong and true with a juicy Bauhaus wink and a scowl.
And for Kim and Kelley Deal? Well, shit - let’s be honest. No one does harmonies like these two. They’re just in a class of their own. Hearing them together on lead single "Wait In The Car" gave us a good taste of what to expect with the album. The Breeders’ albums were never about perfection or even precision per se, they’ve always had a quirk and a looseness in their music, that any “mistakes” that may be noted, just make them all the more endearing.
Music like The Breeders doesn’t much come around any more and maybe that’s what makes All Nerve such a joyous listen. That kind of raw honesty is a rare commodity in these days of streaming single sales. See them on tour now. Show them how much they’re needed.
8.1 / 10
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