Review by Tony Rounce
While there’s been no shortage of great new music coming through in non-tangible formats since the pandemic turned everybody’s world upside down almost a year ago, it’s always nice to welcome a bit of new actual physical vinyl into our musical world. January has been particularly good to us in that respect, thanks to the arrival this month of a spiffing new self-titled long player from long-time LOUD WOMEN friends and favourites, Nervous Twitch.
The Leeds-based trio of Erin (bass and lead vocals), Jay (guitar) and Ashley (Drums and backing vocals) go back a long way with us, having played numerous LW shows virtually since Day One. They have themselves been going in one form or another for almost ten years now, but really came into their own after slimming down to a three-piece midway through the last decade. If you’ve somehow managed not to hear them hitherto, they sprinkle their loud, proud, brash and bountiful two-and-a-bit minute mini-anthems with a Ramones-like fairy dust, adding a hint of Runaways to their musical garnish. (Let’s face it, those are not the worst bands for anyone to be compared to, are they?)
Their new, eponymously titled album is NT’s fourth since debuting in 2015 with “Get Back In Line” and their first to be distributed by Reckless Yes, the label that just can’t stop releasing music by great artists and bands.
It was mostly recorded before the first lockdown in March 2020, and the trio have waited patiently tor almost a year to release it, probably in the hope that they would be able to support its release with a tour. Some of the songs were road tested before Covid19 came along, and it’s no surprise that the likes of ‘Tongue Tied’ (also issued as the second single a few weeks before Christmas) have slotted quickly and comfortably into their set alongside long-time crown pleasers like the second album’s ‘John Power’ and ‘Look At You Now’ from their most recent album, 2017’s “I Won’t Hide”. Once we can all go out again there’s little doubt that the likes of current single ‘Alright Lads’, the girl group-influenced ‘Oh So Keen’ and ‘Boredom and Satisfaction’ and the album’s opening sing-along salvo ‘Count Your Blessings’ will become further new live favourites that blend smoothly with the old crowd pleasers.
Although Nervous Twitch introduces a few new innovations to the basic musical NT menu – double tracked vocals from Erin on many tracks, and the surprising use of a synthesiser on what was the album’s first single ‘Keeping Faith In Something’ – the group generally and happily subscribe to the belief that if something isn’t broke, you shouldn’t try to fix it. Songs like ‘She’s In A Bad Way’ and the aforementioned ‘Alright Lads’ are pure vintage Twitch, driven as relentlessly by Jay’s powerhouse guitar as they are by Erin’s plaintive vocals and Ash’s dervish-like drum work and coming in – like all good pop songs do – at three minutes or less.
Most definitely a healthy helping of joyful noise and one that’s guaranteed to turn an Covid-related frown upside down, “Nervous Twitch” is both the first great vinyl album of the year and the first great album of the year, full stop. Being a couple of days late with this review has meant that a lot of the best superlatives have been used to describe it elsewhere – but they’re all valid, as it is a set that deserves nothing but the highest praise.
Let’s hope we can all get out and hear it live soon…
Nervous Twitch is available via Bandcamp. The group can be found across all social media, please feel free to give them a like and a follow if you have not done so already.
Group photo by Roz Doherty