The Breeders have been part of the soundtrack of my life ever since I was a teenager in the 90’s. I have always been a fan, so I will acknowledge that there is some bias before delving into the meat of this album. Currently the emotions in the world at large are rather raw and full of nerves and tingles, for me this album electrified all of the nodes in my brain. Melody and sheer heaviness of the arrangements really bring it all together for me.
I was fortunate enough to pick up the limited edition translucent orange release. Put out by 4AD this is The Breeders first full length album in 10 years. Looking at the Wiki apparently this is the original lineup from the “Last Splash” album. They haven’t been together in 25 years!
The guitars are so heavy on this album, but not in a metal way. Rather, with weight of emotion and nerve, for me this is the real deal. I love the guitar work, flat out it’s just beautiful. The drums are powerful and well placed. This album really feels like a fragment from the 90’s Breeders. I love the feeling I get – they just came back in the room, plugged the amps in, picked up the sticks, and here we are.
“Nervous Mary” is the leading track and it opens with sparse thick guitars and a soft melody, followed by drums and bass bringing the listener in. Here are The Breeders you have been missing. Now listen up! The second track is the first single from this album – and I believe the first song recorded with the reunited lineup. “Wait In The Car” again feels like a lost track or just a reimagining of The Breeders. Heavy, clangy, angry, and overall fun as hell while keeping a tinge of darkness.
The third track, also the title track, “All Nerve” is the star of the album for me. The vocal harmonies that lead the track in give me the fuzzy feelings up and down my spine. Followed by guitar chords that drop in just so heavy – I’m left with no words. I feel the weight. I feel the nerve.
Music that triggers the primal feelings in my brain is what got me hooked on this audio dependency. I first used music as an escape, a way to not feel, and now I find it rare to hear a song that sends the tingles down my spine like this. But here it is. Godamnit – we needed The Breeders in 2018.
“Dawn: Making an Effort” is the third to last on the album, and again brings the melodic vocal delivery and super thick jangly guitar work. The mix brings the drums back and the vocal guitar work forward. There is a swing and a sadness to this song that again encapsulated the heavy beautifulness that is The Breeders. It’s sad, its pretty, its uplifting, it has weight. What a song.
I keep writing about this, but one of the reasons I wanted to start this blog was to reemerge myself in the music. I can’t say for sure I would have delved this hard into this album if it wasn’t for this project. However, listening to this album over and over the last few months, it just keeps getting put on. Honestly, I love it, I love The Breeders and most likely always will. No shame.