Sometimes a multi-course banquet with the finest wines known to humanity is called for. At others all you want is the greasiest, spiciest burger you can find washed down with a row of tequila shots. Bad Nerves are the musical equivalent of a fast-food feast, lobbing out a dozen gloriously messy punk rock scatterbombs in less than half an hour. There’s no preamble and the spirit of the Ramones lives on in East London – Baby Drummer is even ushered in with a time-honoured ‘1-2-3-4’.
Musically, they take lean garage punk riffs, triple the speed, then throw them in a blender with a full complement of roughshod vocal harmonies, hand-claps and simple, catchy choruses. It’s pop-punk of a sort, but not the meticulous, emotionally overwrought variety most commonly associated with that tag in the 21st Century. Instead Bad Nerves follow in the frenetic footsteps of the likes of the Dickies and Jay Reatard, splurging out melodies and guitar licks with gleeful abandon.
They also keep things stripped down on the lyrical front but that doesn’t mean there’s no depth. There’s a certain street poetry to Mad Mind (‘Long ago, a kid and his heart, a beat lost in the rain / All this time makes you old’) and Last Beat shouldn’t be as compelling as it manages to be with just three lines strung through the entire song.
The aforementioned Baby Drummer is about looking for something new to come along and sweep you away in a wave of excitement. Bad Nerves aren’t doing anything strictly original but there’s a giddy sense of momentum and vibrancy that makes their debut full-length irresistible.
For Fans Of: The Dickies, Jay Reatard, The Chats
Bad Nerves is released on November 20 via Killing Moon.
Posted on November 16th 2020, 11:56am