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Nerve Beats – “Freedom Fighter Prayer” – [Fine Concepts]

Thurston Hunger   4/19/2018   12-inch, A Library


Short blasts of pineapple-expressed garagey blitzy
rock. Trio from Honolulu, who blew into Oakland to
record this to cassette for the Fine Concepts
label. Feels like they kept the cassette and
motor running, has a feeling like a live set
pumped out moving over the posted speed limit.
Travis Wiggins vocals add to it, shouty style
as if he was standing up in a convertible trying
to keep pace with these short grindy numbers.
He kinda reminds me of Franklin Bruno (Nothing
Painted Blue) but smeared out Oblivians style.
Travis on guitar and vox, Alex Nagata pumps up
boogie-ing bass and Jack Tawil on the sticks.
Really, some of his best moments are just hyper
stick ticking metal rim (like on “Ultra Bosch”)
The songs keep cooking, at times Wiggins
guitar kinda wigs out, nicely so you get a noisy
improv vibe on top of the dive-bar riffage.
See the title track and “Riot Meditation.”
Adding to the bar vibe, a Hendrix homage pops up
in “Chivington Soldier” and G-L-O-R-I-A
gets spelled out on “FOX-661L.” No dinosaur
rock, no bones to pick or break, just a raw
at times murky but driving energy. “Eyes in the
Heat” ups the ante with thrashy guitar building
up to an almost Fall style urgency with
lyrics that march and then a firing line snare
close-out. Things slow down a little around the
bends of “Berlin 64” but them the serrated edges
of “Magna Knife” cut in more car-crash art-rock
hurtles down your earway. “January 13 Incident”
and the anthemic “Goncharova Cats” hit the
finish line strong.

-Thurston Hunger

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