The Breeders – All Nerve

The old 'Last Splash' group has released 'All Nerve' – and it’s even further from what made The Breeders so special, so long ago....
The Breeders : All Nerve
5.5 4AD

The Breeders : All Nerve


Way back in 1993, Kim Deal’s post-Pixies project The Breeders had a huge hit with their sophomore record, Last Splash, in particular single “Cannonball”, making for one of the touchstones of the alt-nineties. And then… Drug issues with Kim and her bandmate/sister Kelley led to delays, the band’s dissolution, and it wasn’t until 2002 that Kim’s basically solo Title TK came out and underwhelmed. But then Kim and Frank Black Francis buried the hatchet & reunited the Pixies (QRO live review), basically beginning this century’s indie reunion boom. Somewhere in there, Kim & Kelley found time to make 2008’s Mountain Battles (QRO review), which unfortunately lacked the irreverent fun of Splash.

But then Kim left the Pixies again, reunited the old Last Splash gang, and The Breeders went on a tour of the seminal album (QRO live review). Now the old group has released the new All Nerve – and it’s even further from what made The Breeders so special, so long ago.

The core of Splash was fun, even in the darker songs, which highlighted the light. But All Nerve is no fun; just post-punk stop-start meandering that doesn’t carry any weight. Opener “Nervous Mary” starts off well enough, and could be an anxious piece on a good Breeders record, but it’s all downhill from there. Even the purposeful pieces feel like they lack purpose, and too often the sounds just simply grate. It’s all maybe best summed up in “Spacewoman”, a dragging piece that is ostensibly about having fun at a ballpark.

Maybe the All Nerve songs will sound better live – they almost have to. But most likely, they’ll just serve as the tiresome stuff to bear through before getting back to Last Splash.

Album Reviews