BOTTOM LINE Engineering an ambitious, cannonball-sized comeback.
This new Breeders album “All Nerve” (4AD) would be special no matter how it sounded.
It’s the first time the quartet behind the seminal “Last Splash” has recorded together since that 1993 smash with “Cannonball” and “Divine Hammer,” and the first Breeders album of any kind in a decade. But singer-guitarist Kim Deal clearly had something huge planned for this special reunion and it shows.
“Consider I always struggle with the right word,” Deal sings in the raucous single “Wait in the Car.” Then, she meows.
It’s a return of the humor from the best Breeders work, an absurdist twist to play off the risk-taking rock riffs from Deal and her twin sister Kelley. And it shows up again in the massive “MetaGoth,” featuring bassist Josephine Wiggs on lead vocals, as well as the weird “Archangel’s Thunderbird,” which offers a nod to “Cannonball” in Jim Macpherson’s drumming.
However, the epic “Spacewoman” and “Walking with the Killer” form the centerpiece of “All Nerve,” as Deal tells tall tales surrounded by solid indie rock. It may not be one “Divine Hammer,” but “All Nerve” shows how much the Breeders have grown in their time apart to become so much better together.