Album of the Week: The Breeders, 'All Nerve'

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The Breeders, 'All Nerve'
The Breeders, 'All Nerve' (Courtesy of 4AD)
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History weighs heavy on The Breeders in their first album together after a 10-year hiatus, All Nerve. Lyrically, there are relics aplenty: broken monuments, forgotten pharaohs, skulls, corpses - things long gone, but rediscovered. History even repeats itself with The Breeders covering a Kim Deal solo song ("Walking with a Killer") and a song from the German founders of Krautrock, Amon Duul II ("Archangel's Thunderbird"). On their fifth full-length album The Breeders take a long look at the past and consider what to leave behind.

Kim Deal has always been able to play with listener anticipation. The pauses and delayed delivery has been key in The Breeder's biggest hits. All Nerve continues that trend to toy with expectation. There's "Dawn: Making an Effort" that keeps on the level and builds a slow steady drone, never rushing. And "Wait in the Car", the most Pixies style tune on the album, with its loud-quiet-loud attack. The tension between all of the instruments is palpable: the strings sound like they are being pulled too tight, the drums are up front and sharp, Kim Deal's voice sounds like it's just barely in touch with the instrumentation, like her words are oil sliding around in the musical water and if the winds were to change course they'd slip right off.

This is an album with a beating heart pulled out of the chest, bloody and raw and red. It breathes and tenses, rushes and slows. Pulsing and quivering, like an offering on the shrine of those beloved (and long gone) Gods. It is All Nerve and all the better for it.

Resources


The Breeders - Official Site

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