Sunday, October 30, 2011

Nervebreakers "Girls, Girls, Girls, Girls, Girls" b/w "I'd Much Rather Be With The Boys”

(Get Hip) Guest Review by John Battles) This, the third in a complete set of reissues of the Nervebreakers' three original singles, finds a band on the brink of implosion, with a drastically altered lineup but, still as wild as a tomcat with three balls. In 1981 I was living in Arlingfun, Texas. My brother, Tom was being considered as 2nd guitarist in what would turn out to be the top punk band in Dallas' last lineup (until the classic Nervebreakers five-piece regrouped, in earnest , just a few years ago, after the odd reunion gig in The 90s). He played this record for me, and I was quite impressed. I hadn’t been into Punk Rock for that long, about a year, but I knew piss and vinegar when it hit me in the face. My Brother didn’t end up joining the group, though he did play guitar, later, with 'Breakers vocalist T. Tex Edwards, in The Swingin' Cornflake Killers. The band managed to tour New York and the West Coast around this time, but the end was nigh. "Girls, Girls, Girls, Girls, Girls" kicks off with a raw ramp of a riff, similar to the one that closed out "Capital Radio" by The Clash (two years earlier, The Nervebreakers opened for The Clash in Dallas, and, reportedly, blew them off the stage). From there, it's unbridled teenage lust in a horny, hormonal horror show. DJ George Gimarc accurately drew comparisons with The Troggs, a major influence on the band. Naturally, still being a teenager myself, I thought Edwards was saying "I just can't FUCK myself!" ("Stop myself") and "Leather! Leather! Oh! Oh!" ("Let Me! Let Me! Oh! Oh!"). But the message is clear, without resorting to words like doo doo caca poopoo.  It's remarkable that it took so long for someone to do a rocked-up take of The Stones' obscurity, "I'd Much Rather Be With The Boys", rescued from the abyss by the "Metamorphosis" album (which some people find abysmal.  I, for one, disagree.). Even Johnny Thunders (whom The Nervebreakers met around this time in New York. No, they just had a drink at Max's) did a pretty sedate reading of a song that begged for some fire and fury in the mix.  This version plays the anger and misogyny angle for all it's worth, with basically none of the implied homoerotic tendencies of the original. The band emerges confident and aggressive in what would be it's last ditch coup attempt. But, it wasn’t over. Still isn’t. Five years later, an offshoot band, Same Old Bastards, featuring T. Tex Edwards and guitarist/vocalist, Barry Kooda, was coerced into billing themselves as a Nervebreakers reunion when they opened for Johnny Thunders, who reportedly wasn’t seen doing any street drugs, but asked if there was a store where he could buy some pot. In the 90s they played two songs at The Buddy Magazine Music Award Show, and a full set at The Bronco Bowl, which, with mild irony, The Clash rechristened as a rock venue (after a long dormant spell) in 1982. The more recently-reformed Nervebreakers have gigged sporadically in Dallas and Austin, including a SXSW show at Antone's Records and headlining at the Second Hot Klub Reunion. An album of newly recorded material, "Face Up To Reality" has been awaiting release for a few years. SOMEBODY pick this up. 

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