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Album Review
The Raw Nerves

The Raw Nerves
by The Raw Nerves

1:12 Records

Review Date
20th July 2012
Reviewed by
Danielle Street

It's plain to see from the replica Ramones record cover that The Raw Nerves have their punk rock hearts pinned firmly to their rolled-up sleeves. Backs to the brick wall the four Nerves and their vacant stares certainly look the part, sans the Gabba Gabba Hair. But, despite the Auckland foursome paying homage to their rock 'n' roll heroes, this debut album sounds distinctly of the Nerves.

The LP gets straight down to business with the energetically anthemic 'All Fucked Up', and barely stops to breathe for the next 24 minutes, except for a pause to flip sides. Although a handful of the songs featured on the A-side, such as 'Black Times' and 'Nazi', were released via Bandcamp earlier in the year, they don't suffer the fatigue that often comes from single-syndrome. This could be attributed to the fact that The Raw Nerves have moved swiftly to release this debut, rather than let their music go stale on the live scene like so many local bands do.

Turning to the B-side, the Cramps-esque 'Scared Bear' leads the way with rolling drums, distorted basslines and gravelly storytelling about an Apache anti-brave who finds his destiny in a tide of blood. In stark contrast is 'CLAY', a love-song of sorts with a catchy chorus lyrically reminiscent of Fishbone's 'Ugly', which is aimed at Rory and Dave’s former bandmate from Death Valley. The album comes to a snappy close with the jittery 'Steroids', and a riff undeniably and brilliantly 'Walking on Sunshine'.

In keeping with their vintage vein, The Raw Nerves was recorded by the group’s bassist Alex Bennett, who has a penchant for old school recording techniques. To best capture their sound he employed the services of a half-inch 8-track tape machine, technology used for many of the seminal punk records that came out around the late 70s/early 80s.

The cherry on top of this musical sundae is the mastering skills of musical madman Karl Stevens, who I’m pretty sure doesn’t sleep at night. With the help of emerging record label 1:12, The Raw Nerves sent their album to Tennessee-based record pressing plant to get their tunes imprinted on vinyl, which is hands-down the best way to listen to it. Tried and tested, this album needs to be played as loud as your landlord will allow. If you missed the “emotional” release party, and therefore missed getting your mitts on one of the records, it is recommend you find a way to acquire one, stat.


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