There was a house show in Oakland a couple of weeks ago. A lot of cool bands, bands people were excited about for various reasons - some justified and some superficial. The show was a killer; eight bands, I was on my way home before 11pm, and even the worst band I saw that night was pretty damn good. But there was a band from Iowa on the show that no one was talking about, a band who only a handful of people seemed interested in, a band that wasn't wearing cool punk uniforms...a band that absolutely leveled the joint. I've babbled about NERV here before, and I was quite excited to see them live, but I was fukkn floored and couldn't wipe the smile off my face. Simply put: This is what I want from hardcore! Bare bones, completely honest almost to the point of self deprecation, fast as shit and songs that grab you and force you to engage. Heavy on the '80s Midwest hardcore influence (I'm talking Touch & Go, early Chicago), this is raw and completely unpretentious with manic jams that seem to give zero fukks about current rehash trends and knuckle dragging Oi! riffs repackaged as hardcore (a trend that I fully back, for the record). Listen to the drums hesitate and lurch into the full speed strained vocal attack of "Bug," the single note riffing that starts "Shut-In," the guitar break in "Dig A Hole"...these dudes so casually pack so much power into eight minutes that it's kinda unreal. Their new single is every bit as good as I hoped it would be. And for the record, the rest of the show was really fukkn good and I had a blast, but no one touched NERV that night.
I don't know who I am // I don't know where I stand
Find NERV and other shockingly good sounds from Iowa here. Seriously.