There comes a time in many bands careers that they decide it’s time to release a self-titled album. Oftentimes, particularly when it’s not their debut, it’s a statement that “this is the band’s definitive sound”. This is the case for Nervous Twitch, from Leeds, who have been buzzing around the UK underground since 2011.
Their self-titled fourth album, brought to us by the ever reliable Reckless Yes Records, is a glorious blast from the past. Nervous Twitch have honed their jangly, fuzzy punk to perfection, mixing the melodic zing of Primo, the brashness of The Slugs and the buzzing pop punk of The Only Ones. Even down to the production, it sounds like it’s a long lost gem from 1979.
“Count Your Blessings”, opening with Jay Churchley’s spiky yet chorus soaked guitar, has hints of the Pastels. Its packed with simple, ear wormy melodies and punchy drums, but with a little added grit.
Erin Hyde’s lyrics and vocal melodies are a joy to listen to.
Her lyrics are uncomplicated but straight to the point. “Tongue Tied”, about struggling for words and finding confidence in music, is a perfect example. Musically there are hints of lo-fi stalwarts (is there a more awkward word than stalwart?) Milky Wimpshake.
The affectations in Hyde’s vocal on “Oh So Keen” is a sneering nod to classic punk. The synth in the chorus adds a satisfying buzz to the mix. It sits somewhere between indie pop and punk. “Don’t Blame Me” is straight up, perfectly crafted Buzzcocks pop punk. Everything is in the right place.
“A Bag For Life” is great fun, straddling a previously unrealised line between line dancing instruction and punk rock. Things get a little more serious on “Not Everyone’s Out To Get Me”. Still, it has a wonderful singalong chorus and a message of strength and resilience.
The synth led “Keeping Faith In Something”, with subtle and effective backing vocals is like Primo! singing along to The Fall.
“Alright Lads” is pure punk while Boredom and Dissatisfaction brings back the jangling Pastels chords and glorious power pop. The message is so simple but so brilliant.
“She’s In A Bad Way” instantly recalls The Only Ones’ “Another Girl Another Planet”. The near identical chord pattern and strikingly similar guitar hook are offset by Hyde’s vocal melody. But, whatever, it’s great!
Nervous Twitch up the aggression on the fantastic “The Way That I Feel”.
Hyde’s distant shouted vocal allows the band’s super catchy musicianship to really shine. It’s punchy punk pop akin to The Thermals, which sets up the cute finale Fickle You.
If you’ve not yet invested time in Nervous Twitch this self titled album is a great place to start. Sometimes there is just no need to reinvent the wheel. Nervous Twitch seem to know that very well.
This is absolutely recommended for any punk or indie pop fan.
You may enjoy this if you like: Primo, The Slugs, Molar, The Raincoats, The Only Ones, The Pastels, The Vaselines