When Kim Deal announced she was not to be involved in Pixies most recent incantations, it seemed likely that the releases would suffer as a result. Which they absolutely did, Deal’s minimalist bass lines and lonesome vocals too imposing to truly replicate. However the split has allowed The Breeders to truly take centre stage, All Nerve being the bands first release in a decade.
Deal and Frank Black may have physically parted ways but spiritually and ideologically they are closer than ever, the two somehow conjoined in their musical approach and application. A lot of All Nerve could indeed be Pixies tracks and at times one half expects Black’s trademark yelp to come crashing in during chorus lines. That’s by no means a bad thing and the album is certainly never tiresome or bereft of new dogma. Tracks such as MetaGoth exhibit perfectly that knife-edge paranoia that Pixies came to be known for and overall All Nerve is as pleasingly harrowing a record as The Breeders have released to date.
3 / 5