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Nerves release their debut EP 'Glórach'

Updated: Mar 21

West of Ireland trio Nerves go loud on debut EP Glórach which is released now on digital and vinyl.

 

Band: Nerves

EP: Glórach

Released: March 15 2024





If indeed, as L.P. Hartley averred, “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there,” then the West of Ireland is doubly different. I say that as the West was 'beyond the pale' and never entirely succumbed to the brutal colonisation by the British Empire, and so retained more elements of the past (language, myths, music for example) than other parts of Ireland. The population also suffered more than most from the privations of occupation, tyranny and famine.


As far back as 1610, in Talamh Bánaithe (The Deserted Land), Aindrias MacMarcais wrote:


"Gan gáire fá ghníomhradh leinbh,

cosc ar cheol, glas ar Ghaoidheilg,"


"There is no laughter at children's doings,

Music is prohibited, the Irish language is in chains."


Nerves spent 2 years refining their sound since their previous release and they plainly used the time wisely as this debut EP has a tight, coherent sound and an overall aesthetic which marks them out from their peers.

Nerves are an experimental punk band from the West of Ireland fronted by Kyle Thornton on vocals/guitar, with Charlie McCarthy on bass and Adam Nealon on the drum stool. And they understand the Irish sensibilities around death, degradation and emigration in Ireland; these themes are woven into the DNA of their debut EP Glórach. A record for which the adjective 'glórach' could have been invented - outspokenly loud. It's also abrasive, dynamic with passages of deafening noise and wondrous quiet, melancholic, angry and thrillingly inventive.


Nerves spent 2 years refining their sound since their previous release and they plainly used the time wisely as this debut EP has a tight, coherent sound and an overall aesthetic which marks them out from their peers.



The EP opens with one of three spoken word interludes all of which help to set the tone for the music in between. Iarthar (West) tells us where it's coming from. The first track Empty was the first single from the EP and as we noted in our release review "... combines graceful segments of glacial near silence with fuzzing and sibilant guitar, drums and pummelling bass; and at times crushing loudness with an industrial intensity reminiscent of Einstürzende Neubauten or DAF."


There is no let up in that intensity with second track Leigue which has been released previously and deals with the trauma of losing a close friend. It's a dazzling showcase of drummer Adam's skills as at times he effectively carries the opening rhythm and melody over Charlie's single note bass and Kyle's white noise guitar. As an opening one/two it's as good as any, up there with Bauhaus' Dark Entries and Double Dare from their debut album In The Flat Field.


First side closer Thirteen was the second single and is perhaps the most conventional song on the EP - within the parameters of a Nerves track that is. We noted at the time "...what marks them apart from their peers is the exquisite control they exert over the dynamic transitions from loud to quiet and back to loud. And the ability to thrill with extended noise interludes" although that could apply to the whole EP not just Thirteen.


As we flip the gorgeous ruby red vinyl, side 2 opens with the harrowing Scread Mé (I screamed) interlude leading into us into the intriguing Porcelain. All track titles are a single word and this is by design, part of the coherent care which has gone into Glórach.


Porcelain starts off in a jazzy, Jeff Buckley style and then becomes more like Radiohead. If that isn't enough to lure you in dear reader then there is no hope.


And so to EP closer Enclosed via another interlude, the charming An Nead (The Nest). This sounds like a school music lesson conducted in Irish - maybe an optimistic note indicating the polar opposite of a world where "there is no laughter at children's doings, music is prohibited, the Irish language is in chains".


the track testifies to the collective will of a band who had an existential wish to make an atavistic response to years of repression, in their own outspokenly loud manner.

Enclosed is a behemoth, seven minutes of quiet and loud which continually builds to an enthralling and and violently noisy climax which on vinyl leaves you literally gasping for air. During recording, the band asked producer Daniel Fox if they could add distortion to the master (effectively the finished track). In true Gilla Band style Dan replied "I've been adding distortion to the master since you were in school". And it shows, as the track testifies to the collective will of a band who had an existential wish to make an atavistic response to years of repression, in their own outspoken manner.


Glórach is out now on digital with a Blowtorch vinyl release on ruby red vinyl.


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