By golly it's nice to have The Breeders back again. Really back. After band problems with drugs and drinks, not to mention 25 years apart, the original line-up has put all that behind them to welcome bassist Josephine Wiggs and drummer Jim MacPherson back to The Breeders' womb.

The pair left the band and the Deal sisters, Kim and Kelley, for various reasons after the global success of 1993's cracking album Last Splash, which housed the effervescent and beloved single Cannonball and the group's heavenly pop hit Divine Hammer.

All Nerve doesn't try to replicate that giddy excitement. It's a darker record that slows things down and weirds things up after the raucous blast of opening tracks Nervous Mary and Wait in the Car.

It's a thrilling start, full of instant appeal for anyone who ever owned a flannel shirt and a pair of Docs back in the 90s. They also show how iconic and idiosyncratic is the band's primary songwriter and vocalist Kim Deal as she effortlessly finds new life in the old alternative/grunge sound.


From there, however, all bets are off. MetaGoth is a moody, pounding motorik chug characterised by squealing guitars that threaten to explode into feedback at any second, while Walking with a Killer has a similar desert mysticism as The Doors violent epic The End.

The grungy cover of Archangel Thunderbird by the 70s German rock band Amon Duul II is a highlight, but it's the mysterious title track that is the standout. An insta-classic that's all at once confessional, tender and threatening.

Before calmly declaring that she "will run you down," which is alarming, Kim Deal sweetly sings, "You don't know how much I miss you", which neatly sums up the feeling you get on your first spin of All Nerve.

So welcome back, Breeders. We've missed you.

The Breeders, All Nerve




An unnervingly great comeback.