Bad Nerves – ‘Bad Nerves’

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Swaggering like the Rolling Stones, imbuing the effortless cool of the Strokes, and thrashing through three chords with the panache of the Ramones – it’s about time the world was introduced to Bad Nerves.

The East London five-piece’s debut self-titled record captures the chaos of their infamous live shows – high octane, heavily distorted, laden with riffs, and delivered with a hip thrust at 100 miles an hour. It’s a ‘blink-and-you’ll-miss-it’ record that pumps social commentary through a nihilistic lens and places it over relentless garage punk.

You’re thrown straight into the deep end with opener ‘Can’t Be Mine’, a breathless bow complete with vocalist Bobby Nerves’ exemplary falsetto chorus, and there’s no let-up from this moment. They combine tracks from their EP collections with new tracks such as the Hives-esque ‘Baby Drummer’.

Latest single ‘Palace’, sees Nerves plant his flag in the ground on the issue of England’s class disparity, growling “Why doesn’t the Queen give a fuck about us?”. The excellent ‘Wasted Days’ talks of doomed young love (“You’re giving up on me / I’m giving up on you”), while the closest Bad Nerves have to an anthem, ‘Radio Punk’, is an ode to the lost days and the nostalgia for carefree lives.

Among the chaos, the five-piece throw out the grooving ‘Last Beat’, which is almost certain to be a prominent staple of their live sets in the coming years. The riffs are effortless, the melodies are memorable, and it’s the kind of music you want to bump hips to. It’s as infectious as it is joyous.

This music is fun, it gets the adrenaline pumping and it makes you want to throw yourself around a basement show whenever we’re next allowed – the kind of show that when its over, you’re craving much, much more. It’s felt like a long-time coming, but Bad Nerves’ flawless debut already marks them as ones to watch in the coming years.

TOM WALSH

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