Nerves New Animal

The Nerves play jerky, new wave punk rock with a garage rock vibe thrown in. In other words, they play good shit. A Chicago three piece with one full-length already under their belt, the Nerves craft a crisp, angular, and pogo-worthy sound on New Animal. The record gets off to a strong start with the in-your-face, one-two punch of “Die Tonight” and “Get Me High”; both are spastic rock shake-downs. Over its 30-plus minutes, the record takes a few side trips into slower, almost ballad-like numbers but always remains rooted in crazy time changes and wild, Pere Ubu-like vocals. Imagine Urge Overkill influenced by Devo and Nuggets records instead of Kiss and Neil Diamond and you’re getting close to what these guys sound like. What makes this record so cool is that it flirts with so many different genres and sounds, but always retains a reckless energy without “dumbing down” or pandering to any one fan base. This is a good record for people who want to hear something new and hard rocking that isn’t faux-metal or raunchy garage rock. (Thrill Jockey)