The Breeders: All Nerve (4AD) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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The Breeders

All Nerve


Feb 27, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Returning with their first album in a decade, and this time boasting the classic Last Splash lineup of Kelley and Kim Deal, Josephine Wiggs, and Jim Macpherson for the first recordings since that 1993 album, The Breeders may be laden with the expectations of 40-something, plaid shirted devotees but they approach these 11 songs with both poise and confidence.

Lead single “Wait in the Car” hits early, all chug n’ churn guitar and a cry of “Good morning!” to welcome us back into their bright, bruised world. Later, “Spacewoman” proves to be one of the most haunting and memorable songs of their careera slow-burn anthem that kills with its chorus as much as it moves with its verses“I look up/I’m lonely too.” “Archangel’s Thunderbird” shifts gears with an awkward, slanting riff and off-kilter drumline and a series of subtle hooks that grip hard on repeat listens.

Kim Deal’s voice is bell-clear throughout, particularly on “Dawn: Making an Effort,” an all-enveloping ballad brilliantly suited to their dream pop label home. While there may be a few moments where things seem to slip away from the creative and into the slightly stilted“Skinhead #2” being a prime examplesongs such as album closer “Blues at the Acropolis” serve as a tremendous reminder of the Deal sisters’ ear for the dramatic, the uniquely strange and the downright delightful.

All Nerve may suffer by lazy comparison not only to golden age Pixies or The Breeders’ own ‘90s gems but it’s a twisted, swirling record of gorgeous harmony set against catapulting rhythms and just the right balance of body-horror lyricism that stands firmly on its’ own. The plaid shirted among us will certainly find much to enjoy heremore adventurous listeners are in for a treat too. (

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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