The Nerves

World of Gold

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As might be expected from a garage band signed to Thrill Jockey (the home of Tortoise), Chicago's Nerves come off sounding a little stiff and academic in their MC5 and Stooges appropriations on World of Gold, especially since singer/guitarist Rob Datum's voice more than occasionally recalls that of Talking Heads' David Byrne. Likewise, the production is too crisp and clear, not befitting the band's sound and just adding further to the awkwardness. Instead of the grungy swagger that could have been, the Nerves deliver a thin and brittle-sounding collection of songs. Not that they don't rock out sufficiently from time to time, such as on the strutting album-closer "Orange Wine" or the pummeling "Take It," which sounds like a dream meeting between Television and Dead Moon. But, when all is said and done, World of Gold sounds meek and tame. Compared to contemporaries such as the White Stripes, who have made such great things happen within the self-imposed limitations of punkish garage rock, this album is just another waste of time.

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