Photo by Marisa Gesualdi
Written by Haley Parsons
Confession time: deep down in my core, I’m a Seattle Grunge Super Fan. Growing up (and even now), I loved Nirvana. I listened to their music every day and read countless books and articles about Kurt Cobain. I know so many random Nirvana facts, it’s a bit ridiculous. But, one of the greatest gifts to come from this cliché obsession was The Breeders. Kurt Cobain really dug the Pixies and even more so, The Breeders’ first album, Pod. He accredited that album as a heavy influence on Nirvana’s sound, so duh! my 11-year-old-self had to check them out. I immediately fell in love with the slightly dissonant sound of “When I Was A Painter” and its weirdly obscure lyrics that somehow made sense to me. But, as part of growing up, I moved away from my musical roots and found new bands. Later, I rediscovered The Breeders during a particularly difficult bout of 16-year-old angst and delved even deeper into their discography, falling even more in love. Since then, I’ve found new bands and obsessions, but Kim Deal’s band has always been in the back of my mind.
My sweet teenage love was reawakened when the band released their first studio album in 10 years and announced that they were taking to the road for its debut. All Nerve features the Last Splash lineup, the group responsible for the absolute banger and song that saw the most mainstream success, “Cannonball”. This new album provides just as much of a splash and the golden foursome of the Deal twins, bassist Josephine Wiggs, and drummer Jim MacPherson have managed to reignite the spark that gave birth to Last Splash without making this new album into its sequel. Fans will find the new material familiar, but also something that can stand alone as a unique piece of work. They still have their signature Breeders sound—wacky guitars and strangely poetic lyrics that when read aloud seem senseless—but when sung by Kim, strike an emotional nerve. They’ve just moved a few inches away from the pop appeal of Last Splash.
With a discography as huge as the one this band has, I was worried that they would focus their set entirely on tracks from the most recent album, which would be totally understandable and very easy to rock out to, but upon inspection of their set list from a recent Portland show, I observed that there will be a beautiful mix of old and new. Thus, shout out to Kim for putting together a list that will feature some of my all-time favorite Breeders songs, like “No Aloha” “Off You” and “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” (a freakin’ gem of a Beatles cover that can be found on Pod). Plus, new tunes like title track, “All Nerve” which features the achingly simple line “you don’t know how much I miss you” that pulls at my clingy little heart every time I hear it. As a bonus, it looks like they’re playing “Gigantic” (one of the only songs Kim wrote for the Pixies and perhaps one of the best songs in the history of that band) and OF COURSE, “Cannonball”. The set list is perfect. The band is perfect. Everyone at Showbox SODO is in for a real treat in my opinion.
The Breeders will be joined by Seattle band Your Heart Breaks at Showbox SODO on April 13th. Doors open at 8:30! Tickets to this all ages event are SOLD OUT but there are a few resale tickets available here.
Keep up with the Breeders on Facebook and check out Your Heart Breaks on bandcamp! Also, if you’d like to read more Breeders history, peep my column.
HALEY PARSONS |Smells like teen spirit to me! | KXSU Music Reporter