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Self-titled: 2 x LP
Wipers-by-way-of-Estranged darkened punk. When the male/female vocals wail simultaneously, it’s pure magic. And the songs on their own blister and sulk in some of the best shadows of punk’s torrid bleakness. But getting a three-sided double LP that plays at 45 is kind of a bummer. And while it doesn’t feel right to dwell on that, these are some desperate songs, and I really wanna believe in it. Records are a luxury; let’s not get too decadent.  –Daryl Gussin (Let’s Pretend)

Self-titled: LP
Spooky and so cold as to feel sterile at times, Nervosas seems to be stomping around in the same frozen, bleak tundra as the Estranged, Warsong, and Lost Tribe. Nicely searing guitar lines and sung, reverb-touched vocals, the band has a propensity for the dramatic that almost becomes too much—they veer dangerously close to gothy, operatic self-parody at times but never quite get there —and the end result is a dark, lurching slalom of a record. As this is my introduction to the band, I’m not entirely sure what the frenzy is all about; it’s a solid record, but maybe not quite the jaw-dropper I was led to expect. Still, there’s no discounting the fact that the band has atmosphere and aesthetic in spades.  –keith (Dirtnap)

Demo tape: Cassette
This is my third listen of Nervous Assistant’s demo tape, and each time it sounds a bit less punk and bit more New Wave of British Heavy Metal to me. Maybe it’s the heavy guitar riffs or the way the singer phrases every thing like he is Judas Priest’s Rob Halford doing an impression of George C. Scott in Patton. Is this thrash metal? Punk metal? I give up. You decide.  –John Mule (Sabotage, sabotagerecords.net)

Self-titled: 10” EP
I’m guessin’ these kids are from Germany. They kick down with eighteen tracks of hardcore that fits somewhere between the sloppy, fall down the stairs thrash of early Gang Green, and more recent fare by bands like Last In Line. Good stuff on the whole, and they even throw in a Blut + Eisen cover for good measure. –jimmy (givepraiserecords.com)

Out of Sync with Time: CD
Piano-heavy stuff with bits of cabaret, gloomy synth pop, and other stuff in there. They’re definitely all over the map sonically, and the bulk of what they’re doing takes a bit more effort to digest that pop in, play loud, and move onto the next thing, which is a definite plus. They also have the dubious honor of producing the bleakest cover of the Minutemen’s “Jesus and Tequila” I’ve ever heard. –jimmy (Latest Flame)

Fake Infinity: LP
Horrible shit. Poppy synth that makes stuff like ColdCave sound edgy. This is rife with pretentious lyrics, dull songs, and the rest. Someone call the EPA and alert them that another waste of petroleum has been dumped into our environment. They can either stop it at the record label or head to any record shop dollar bin. –Matt Average (Latest Flame, latestflame.com)

Avenida Sevilla: 7”EP
Three songer of a three-piece composed of Replay Dave of the Grabass Charlestons and the twins from Fiya: gruff, honest, and direct. Sadly, it’s an homage to their recently deceased fathers. But, the more I thought of it, it’s perfect. I know Replay. He’s an earnest and loving guy and a great musician. What better to both memorialize and celebrate the memory of a loved one with dedicating something to them in a manner you find the most joy? It’s touching. As a matter of fact, the three songs on here are like a postcard: maybe it means more to me because I know who it’s from, it’s a quick note, and it brings up good feelings, wishing I was in Gainesville. For fans of the Hot Water Music/ Clairmel split 10”, the country-er Tim Version, and intergalactic gentlemen. –todd (Nervous)

Avenida Sevilla EP: 7”
Dave Drobach (Grabass Charlestons, Stressface) and Patrick and Ryan Quinney (both of Fiya) combine their powers to create this self-released 7" EP. Song subjects range from poking fun at the college football fanatics who inhabit their town to having to watch their father fight a fatal disease. Anyone who’s already a fan of the Gainesville sound should check this out. –Daryl Gussin (Nervous)

Great Doors: 7”EP
Depression, defiance, fires, and formlessness. Raspy-voiced. Smoke-filled lungs—from both wildfires and enclosed spaces. It’s Florida punk with much to owe to Spoke, Fay Wray, and Clairmel, the lesser-known structures which Hot Water Music would one day build its foundations on. The Nervous Dogs are confessional but not anthemic. They hide their melodies like a well-concealed flask and play bodies of songs heavily scarred, but with the slightest of smiles on the lips. They aren’t a band that is likely to blow you away immediately, but if you like them on first spin, chances heavily weigh toward that fondness will continue to grow. –todd (Bakery Outlet)

Eat This!: CD
Apart from the initial “Loretta”/“Just Head” KBD material we all know and adore, i’ve always been a fan of the band’s Hot Steel and Acid LP ca. 1987, going so far as to, shall we say, “liberally borrow from” the “Be My Baby” riff for my own twisted purposes (hint: rhymes with “I Wanna Get To Third Base With You”). I also occasionally stick up for the sissy-pants bomp-she-bomp version of “Loretta” that graces their puss-puss, major label, Ric Ocasek-neutered debut album, therefore i feel that, on average, i like (or at least have paid attention to) a fair amount more of the post-KBD Nervous Eaters material than most other nitwits of my ilk. That said, this latest album of punk-via-the-seventies-long-haired- rebel-route-rock fails to cause anything more than polite stirrings in my loins. There are some neat arrangement tricks (falsetto backups in “Scream [When I Dream]”, f’r instance) and the band (or whatever exactly it is at this late date) doesn’t have seem to have lost any critical Drive To Rock, but this is the kind of music that doesn’t sound like much at all if it’s not being played on a large stage with a massively amplified kick drum. Which, as far as i can tell, it is not. BEST SONG: “Scream (When I Dream)” BEST SONG TITLE: “Look Wot U Dun” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: “Look Wot U Dun” is, amazingly, NOT the Slade song which is misspelled the exact same way. Huh. –norb (No Tomorrow)

Get Out: CD
Perusing the liner notes, I saw that saxophone is featured on a couple of the tracks. I was hoping it would be the cool kinda sax you hear on records by the Sonics and the Mothballs. It ain’t. The guy plays the sax in much the same way Ferris Bueller plays the clarinet—“Never had one lesson!”—honking like dying goose. The guys are all dressed like the Strokes in the liner note pictures, but it seems like they may be trying to ape the Nation Of Ulysees, stylistically and musically, more than anyone else. As Rick Stratton might have said on long lost-but-not-forgotten sitcom, Silver Spoons: “This is bogus.” –benke (Super Secret)

“Gestalt” b/w “Green Tile Floors”: 7”
Both label (Test Tube released 45s by the Zeros and pre-Youth Brigade band The Extremes) and band have deep roots in Los Angeles’s punk scene, and seeing as both haven’t released much in a loooooooong time, this also signifies a return to form for both. Both songs date back to 1979, when Nervous Gender was wreaking havoc on unsuspecting punk audiences, but the versions presented here were recorded in late 2009 with most of the founding members in attendance (Gerardo Velasquez passed away in the early 1990s). If you’re thinkin’ there is no way in hell this could hold a candle to previous classics like the Music From Hell LP and their tracks on the Live at Target compilation, rest assured the tunes here showcase a group that has not softened a whit with age. Time, experience, and three decades of technological advances may have allowed them to organize the parts a wee bit better, but the chaos, flailing synthesizers, and blunt vitriol of their attack remain in full display both on wax and live, as those who have seen their recent performances can attest. They remain one of the best and most criminally overlooked bands Los Angeles has ever produced, and this release is fan-fucking-tastic. Here’s hoping a full-length isn’t too far behind this. –jimmy (Test Tube, testtuberecords.com)

Minimum Wage Demo: CD-R
Full frontal assault by a new band featuring ex-Porch Mob and Goons members. “Wasted Time” throws things into fourth gear from the start with a throbbing bass line. There’s a healthy tip of the cap to their harDCcore forefathers like Scream and Minor Threat, but it’s not derivative. “Back to the Swamp” is their tribute to DC’s real roots—when it was a muddy quagmire. But you won’t get bogged down with this EP if well-played punk is your bag. You need this pronto. –koepenick (Self-released)

Self-titled: LP
Serge from the Goons lends his unique vocal delivery to a DC-area supergroup of sorts, with members of Striking Distance, the Twats, The Reticents, Porch Mob, and HR’s band doin’ the twangin’ and bangin’. The songs are on-point, keeping things zippy without getting silly about it, angry yet melodic, and tingeing the whole shebang with a rock/metal influence that never gets distracting or detracting. –jimmy (Under Current)

N.I.: 12” EP
DC punk blasters follow up on their Minimum Wage demo with this sharp-as-nails punk attack. Eight ham-fisted blasters that will make your stereo speakers cry for mercy. “Louder than Stupid” and “Build a Bomb or Shut Up” are my favorites here. But this whole thing flies by so quickly, you’ll have time to put it on repeat, again and again. Keep it up, boys. The rest of the world will catch up soon enough. –koepenick (Self-released; undercurrentrecords@gmail.com)

Beautiful Brutal, You Can’t Change: one-sided 7”
The Nervous Patterns inhibit that tightly wound, anxious universe of the Lost Sounds (along with sharing members), where circuit boards in your brain rust and the sound of something big and strong breaking in wrong ways, leaking a mysterious fluid permeates the first song. Makes me think of androids made of meat, in revolt, working on Kraftwerk songs with their fists. The second song, “You Can’t Change” is what I wish they’d played at my prom instead of the theme song to “St. Elmo’s Fire.” It’s swelling, aching, tender, bats about bright Cure-like guitars, and twines them around mournful but hopeful female vocals. The second side is blank; needle just zipped right across it. –todd (Zaxxon Virile Action)

Separate Beds? I Don’t Think So: CD
First off, if they were really so compelled as to have to have their name be like half of “Nervous Eaters” plus half of “Morning Shakes,” i’m not so sure i wouldn’t’ve rather had them call themselves the Morning Eaters. Next off, this album probably could’ve been titled Three Breasted Woman, owing to the fact that it is stacked so peculiarly—the first twenty-five percent or so is basically these more or less inept rock & roll numbers revolving around sex, shaking, and positive comments on the appearance of one’s own ass (“Get the fear, it’s Saturday night—Sex! Sex! Sex-Sex-Sex-Sex!” the guy yowls, with all the convincingness and swagger of Ron Howard on that episode of Happy Days where Fonzie let Richie borrow his apartment above the Cunninghams’ garage for his hot date)—and, just when one gets the feeling that the main point of debate for this album is whether it’s Retarded Good, Retarded Bad, Retarded Both or Just Plain Retarded, they kick in with some kinda King/Rassler Queers song (“Number One”) that i musta missed on account of i left the gig to get bubblegum and Pop Rocks™ or something, followed by a token sex toy song (“Swedish Love Gun”)—and THEN the band inexplicably cranks into an extended suite of sloppy, brilliant pop/rock/punk/roll tunes not unlike the Real Kids or Yum Yums’ tight-jeaned, leopard-spotted-shirted, black-hair-dyed weird cousins (said suite to include a cover of “Be a Man” by the Brats, better known as the third song on the first side of the Infections album [let the record show that the only Brats song i was familiar with In The Day was “First Rock Star on the Moon”]). I mean, the last seventy-five percent of this record is, like, great—but the first twenty-five percent is practically a joke. Actually, it’s probably just some manner of extended Belgian Mind Fuck; i’m sure they knew what they were doing all along. Kinda like most foreign films, though, this one makes more sense if you enter in the middle. BEST SONG: “Brat” BEST SONG TITLE: “Get the Fear” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The songwriting credits for “Can’t Stand You” are nonexistent, but, the credits for the hidden track, “Suzie,” are quite evident. Huh. –norb (Nun)

Separate Beds?: CD
Les belges sont ici! Belgian rockers playing a Devil Dogs-influenced rock and roll. And they cover the Queers’ “Number One” and the Infections’ “Be a Man.” Strange! Apparently, in Belgium, pop punk is still popular and rock and roll versions of Queers songs are all in a day’s work. I couldn’t decide how I felt about it, and so I played it for two friends who released the following statement: We don’t hate it, but, if for some reason this CD came into one’s possession, one would probably sell it to a used CD store. The verdict is in! So, if this were a cereal, it’d be Weird-Belgium-Pop-Punk-Vortex-Sell-It-for-Sour-Gummi-Worm-Money-Oh’s. –Maddy (no record label info)

Needs Medicines: LP
This sounds like something I would have heard in the late ‘80s, early ‘90s. Very much like something you would hear on Slumberland Records. Nervous Systems have a sound that’s a mix of post punk with synths, indie rock, and shoegazer music. There’s a familiarity about the sound, though I can’t point to any direct influence. The keyboards have a cold tone that floats and hangs in the air. The guitars hammer and churn; at other times they sound forlorn. The vocals took a couple listens to get used to. But the music is really good and has enough of a dark atmosphere for this to work properly and keep me listening the whole way through. “Sleeping Arrangements” is the definite standout song on here. The vocals sound very similar to Bernard Sumner, the music is slightly darker, and the lyrics about letting go are the best of the bunch. “Mains Hum” is a strong contender as well. These two songs would have made for a spectacular single. –Matt Average (Obscurist Press, obscuristpress.com)

Self-titled: LP
Canada has a long history when it comes to pop punk (a term I use begrudgingly, but I can’t think of a better one right now). From Teenage Head and the Pointed Sticks to Bum and Chixdiggit! to Steve Adamyk Band and Needles//Pins, we have a lot of amazing bands who kneel at the altar of the Ramones. Now we can add another to that legendary list: Vancouver’s Nervous Talk. These songs are so fucking good! The hooks stick in your brain like bubble gum in your hair the first time you tried to talk to someone you were attracted to. It blows my mind that something this special is a young band’s debut full-length album. I’ve seen them play three times now and can’t wait for more! –ty (Hosehead, hoseheadrecords.ca)

Stupid Little Heart: 7”
Three potent doses of catchy punky pop with some organ thrown in for some flash. –jimmy (No Front Teeth)

Self-titled: Cassette
Nervous Trend’s dynamic is built on an affinity for the darker realms of the post-punk genre’s recent resurgence. So much so that it’s hard for me not to mention Barcelona’s Belgrado as an obvious direct influence as evidenced by a number of glaring nuances (bass/drum interplay, lady vocals, icy guitar tones) although mixing in some fast parts here and there is a nice touch. I’m into it, for sure, but only time will tell if Nervous Trend will be able to do more than capitalize on the path that Belgrado has already blazed.  –Juan Espinosa (Self-released, nervoustrend.bandcamp.com)

Self-titled: 7”
Excellent, excellent single! Nervous Trend plays music that falls into the realm of goth/death rock, similar to Catholic Spit, Christian Death, and Part 1. Instead of focusing on death and decay, they’re tackling gender issues with these two tracks. “Shattered” is nothing short of great. The music builds in tempo at the beginning and hits its stride with the bass and percussion propelling everything forward in a very direct manner. The vocals are just short of being high pitched and switch to something more sober when the mood calls for it. “Decency” is just a bit more urgent and quicker, but doesn’t have that dark, cold, and layered sound of the A side; however, it’s just as strong. I’m looking forward to hearing more from this outfit. Pacing the floor in anticipation.  –Matt Average (Residue, residue-records.com)

Demo Tape 2015: Cassette
There are great people and great bands, and sometimes you come across both at the same time. The Nervous from Denver, CO is one of those instances. Some of the nicest people you will ever meet, and they happen to bust out some amazing, scrappy, take-no-prisoners punk rock. This tape sports four new songs that continue to build on their amazing first 7”. Jennie belts the lyrics out with a level of force and conviction that makes me wonder how she has any voice left at all after a show. They are definitely one of my favorite bands going right now.  –ty (toonervous.bandcamp.com)

Don’t Need This Shit: CS
Mike Muir-style vocals over darker D.R.I. ‘80s fastcore with weird ‘90s Metallica breakdowns. Recorded with thin bass. Grit your teeth. This is punk on speed. –Camylle Reynolds (Distort The World, nervvrak.bandcamp)

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