Bad Nerves are a five piece from London, and this is their debut, self-titled album. What’s the fastest thing you can imagine? A Cheetah? Whoever purchased a PS5? The time it takes for me to collect a pizza and eat it? NOPE. None of them step up to the pace of this Bad Nerves record. Holy SHIT. It’s a speedy boy.
‘Can’t Be Mine’ grabs the best of Power Pop and Punk and smashes it together, delivering an unrelenting sound, kicking off the record in a big way. Everything is working overtime, yet you can hear each instrument clearly. A punishing set of riffs collides with frantic drums, and an anthemic set of vocals top off what’s an excellent opener. I get hyper off Rainbow Dust, this feels like cocaine.
This high level of energy lasts throughout the record – which is impressive enough – but what I enjoy most is the lyrical content. Bad Nerves tackle a double-edged sword of existential crisis and youthful anxieties stemmed from the existence of social media, calling out the flaws in an everlasting battle to better oneself. It’s a tough set of topics to illustrate but Bad Nerves do it perfectly (‘Wasted Days’ is a classic tune that pairs flurries of noise with a simple, catchy chorus). Their rapid-fire style of songwriting acts as the constant refresh we see on our screens. The need to always be present and at the top of the feeds. What’s different is this content I’d actually like to see, not that Jane’s brought another cat in the household (congratulations Jane).
As much as I could continue admiring the speed of it all, the record also has a lot of variety too. While I’m constantly changing which track I feel has the coolest drums, the likes of ‘Baby Drummer’ and ‘Radio Punk’ give me the same feeling I had when I heard The Hives for the first time. Bad Nerves’ ability to flaunt the qualities of their genres makes this record instantly accessible, but they do it in a way that thrusts their sound into the modern world too.
With twelve tracks clocking in at under half an hour, Bad Nerves is a record for the listener on the go. Throw aside those yoga mats and toss those scented candle sticks away, because there’s no way you’re relaxing with this in the background. It is a very-much welcome injection of life in the dreary final months of 2020. This is a fantastic record. Quick, someone hit me up with some Rainbow Dust.