This definitely sounds like a Breeders album… yet it does not sound like an album cemented in that specific time and place of the early Clinton-era 90’s.

There’s always been a tender sweetness in Kim Deal’s voice, permeating through the raspiness and angst – And she’s definitely retained that endearing quality on these recordings.   The Breeders, in any incarnation (including The Amps), have always maintained a balance of melodic (almost Beatlesque) motifs, while laying on that dissonant quality that makes the music just a little bit jarring.  Though the tempos are consistently slower on this record, they maintain that same quality.

There’s no Cannonball here, and this is definitely no Last Splash (even though it is the same exact line-up as that seminal album).  Wait in the Car is probably the track destined to be featured by the label – being a bit more raucous, and closest to that ‘classic’ Breeders sound of simple, driving guitar riffs and female harmonies undercutting through the distortion.   Archangel’s Thunderbird is a genuinely good rock-and-roll jam.  I found Howl at the Summit somehow stands out from the remaining tracks,  with a crescendo and undefinable grandness reminiscent of Do You Love Me Now?

I would certainly listen to All Nerve again, which is something I can’t say for sure about their prior release, Mountain Battles.   But the question remains, “Will I be returning to this album a few years from now?”  The best answer I could give right now is “perhaps”.  (For the record, Title TK does get a good listen from me still… so it’s not only the steady MTV rotation-era Breeders for me)

All Nerve on the 4AD website


Dave DeLuca