It was a couple of years ago that I was given The Bloody Nerve‘s first three song EP for review. After reviewing that EP, which goes by the title Red (you can read that review here) I managed to become good friends with the Nashville duo. It’s the worst mistake as a critic to admit that but they are friends in the best possible way because they still expect nothing but honesty, which I was while reviewing their follow up EP Blue (you can read that review here) which I didn’t find as good as its predecessor. Now after some anticipation, Stacey Blood, Laurie Ann Layne and company are set to release their first full length album Taste.
It’s quite the easy album to review, really, considering The Bloody Nerve re-recorded all of their songs from the first two EPs (in all their original glory) for Taste and added a few more originals. The three songs from Red are what start off the album, in their original order too starting with Place To Hide‘s roadhouse blues influenced rock n’ roll sound leading the way. This is the song that hooked me from the beginning, from the moment Stacey Blood started singing that opening melody. Then there are the two Laurie Ann Layne sung tracks Local Honey and Find Ya Love. The former of the two being another rock and soul track similar to that of Place To Hide, only a little more intense. Find Ya Love is the game changer with the acoustic spine that holds this soft and quiet song in place.
Then there are the re-recordings of the songs from the Blue EP which, unlike the re-recordings from Red, don’t appear one after the other, but they are still in the same order as on the original EP, starting with Changing Mind, which is where The Bloody Nerve show their R&B influence. Of the original six tracks from the first two EPs, I found this to be the best written track and it really helped my opinion of the Blue EP, and all of that magic was perfectly captured in this re-recorded version of the song. It’s the track Strange that I was never crazy about. It has a good upbeat jumpy feeling to it, but I still find the vocals to be a little lackluster and they just kind of throw me off.
Then there’s the cover of the Gram Parsons song She. I’ll admit that at the time of reviewing Blue I had no idea that She was a cover, but now I can compare it to the original recording and say that folk/country song by the late great Gram and perfectly put their own soulful spin on it. I don’t know if I prefer The Bloody Nerve‘s version (I don’t know if I don’t prefer it either) but they made the song their own, which is ever so important when covering any song.
With the exception of Prayer at Night, which is just a minute long track with piano and drum instrumentation with a preacher preaching a sermon as the music plays, The Bloody Nerve‘s other three newly written and recorded tracks for Taste prove to be worth the listen. Luminol‘s bluesy guitar playing reminds me of Pearl Jam‘s Yellow Ledbetter every time I hear it, just with that Bloody Nerve soul. I find Long Way Home to be the better of the new tracks, though Paint Shop can really stick in your head too. What I love most about Long Way Home is the shared vocals by Stacey and Laurie featured throughout most of the song. Paint Shop has a catchy chorus, and that’s the part that I’m sure can stick in people’s heads. I don’t know how I’d rank the song compared to other songs on the album, but it is one of the most powerful tracks with helps in stand out.
If this is the first that anyone has ever heard of The Bloody Nerve then I’m confident that they’re starting on the right foot. Taste gives me a better perspective of The Bloody Nerve and their intended sound. Something that two separate EPs couldn’t do. Each song is being played with a soulful heart and a rock and roll mind and the outcome is something that you just don’t hear anymore. The re-recordings sound fresher than ever and practically carry this album on their own, but I give credit to most of the new songs because Taste would not be what it is without them.
“Long Way Home” – You get the best of both vocalists in this folk rock track. There’s no song sample to provide, but here’s a behind the scenes look at The Bloody Nerve rehearsing the song.
8 (Out of 10)
|Place To Hide||2:56|
|Find Ya Love||4:36|
|Long Way Home||3:15|
|Prayer At Night||1:06|