When the ‘Good morning!’ on the album’s first single ‘Wait In The Car’ reaches your ears, it feels like a re-awakening. The Breeders are back with their first album in ten years, and it’s something to celebrate. Given that it’s only the fifth Breeders album in 28 years, it feels like An. Event.
Back in the late 1980s, Pixies bassist Kim Deal set up The Breeders as a side-project with Tanya Donnelly (then of fellow Boston band Throwing Muses) and with the release of 1990’s Pod it was seen as the indie supergroup. By 1993, Donnelly was fronting Belly and the Pixies had split up. The Breeders’ second album Last Splash led by the hit single ‘Cannonball’ saw The Breeders become a big success on their own terms and in their own right. Crucially, it was when Kim’s twin sister Kelley joined the band – and All Nerve sees the twins re-united with the Last Splash rhythm section of bassist Josephine Whiggs and drummer Jim Macpherson for the first time on record since the mid 1990s.
We all know the world has changed in the ten years since The Breeders released their fourth album Mountain Battles (their third album, Title TK was released in 2002), But it’s so damn reassuring to have them back. Sure the links with other bands (and there are a heap to go and enjoy) contributed to coverage – but there remains a distinctive Breeders sound and feel. The undercurrent of menace that never engulfs, the subtlety of sound that makes Steve Albini the perfect person to work with (he first helmed Pod in 1990 and he’s back here on several tracks) and the way that they understand an album needs quality, not quantity – it’s barely more than half an hour long.
Ahead of the album’s release, the tracks released indicated that we were in for a treat. In addition, other highlights are ‘Metagoth,’ ‘Space Woman’ and ‘Dawn: Making An Effort.’ Signed to 4AD – one of the coolest independent labels ever – The Breeders have had deserved commercial success in addition to critical acclaim over the decades. They aren’t necessarily going to appeal to everyone- but that’s the non-listeners’ loss.
Sure, it may have been ten years, but it’s another success. It’s a reminder of why The Breeders are so highly rated, and holds its own against their previous albums and EPs. It’s an album you want to play again before it’s even finished, before revisiting their other albums.
2018 continues to be a great year for aging indie fans (and I definitely count myself in that). Following on from last year’s ‘Get In The Car’ single (which came in very high in the annual Festive Fifty) and tour, the band have indeed announced new single, album and tour.
Recording took place at Candyland, Dayton, Kentucky, with Mike Montgomery; Electrical Audio, Chicago, with Steve Albini and Greg Norman; and with Tom Rastikis at
Fernwood Studios, Dayton, Ohio. The artwork was done by Chris Bigg, who has worked with the Breeders since their first album, Pod.
All Nerve will be released on March 2nd on long-term label 4AD.
It’s been announced today that Kim Deal has left The Pixies.
“We are sad to say that Kim Deal has decided to leave the Pixies. We are very proud to have worked with her on and off over the last 25 years. Despite her decision to move on, we will always consider her a member of the Pixies, and her place will always be here for her. We wish her all the best.
Black Francis, Joey Santiago and David Lovering” from their facebook page).
There’s already a rather one-sided band over on the NME site saying that the band definitely shouldn’t continue without her. It’s a decision only they can make. Sometimes it’s like an egg without omelettes (people conveniently forgetting that sometimes people may need to eat and pay bills), sometimes the results can be surprising. Maybe some people thought Joy Division’s remaining members should never have recorded together again after Ian Curti’ suicide in 1980; they did regroup under a different name, though…She’s touring with her ‘other’ band The Breeders, and still wowing people.
One of the coolest people ever to rock a bass guitar, here’s some of the songs Kim Dealhas been involved with other the years, as a Pixie, a Breeder and an Amp…