OK, it’s silly season again, as far as music releases go, however as I love to discover new music, I relish the opportunity of being able to receive albums before their release date. Writing about them however, is an entirely different matter – how do you subjectively give an opinion on someone else’s art, when they’ve probably poured their heart and soul into producing what I’m about to review? I am mindful of this fact, so I try to choose the albums I review carefully and this review is one I’ve deemed my kinda thing, so here goes.
To quote the great Keith Richards (The Rolling Stones), to whom “The Bloody Nerve” have been influenced by amongst others, “so much of today’s music focuses on the rock, yet everyone’s forgotten about the roll” and upon my first listen to this album, my thoughts immediately go to this statement that I heard Keith say in a documentary I watch recently.
This album is all about the roll, with hints of rock courtesy of Stacey’s guitar playing, along with a heavy hint of blues thrown in for good measure, which is now having somewhat of an insurgence in popularity thanks to bands like Blues Pills and Joe Bonamassa. This album is a welcomed distraction from the heavier stuff that’s currently coming out of the Nashville, Tennessee area at the moment!
Stacey’s weapon of choice for this album is a Fender Stratocaster, having lost his #1 Telecaster in a fire at the pairs home, meaning he had to work with what he had as everything else had been lost. Not that his second choice of guitar makes any difference to this man’s talent as a guitar player, but the two have very different sounds! This tragedy however did prove inspiring in some ways, but ultimately dictated this albums sound. If I was to hazard a guess, I’d say it helped give the pair the fuel they needed to fire up both their emotions required to produce this album?
I say “them” as this band are in fact a duet, of sorts, as both Laurie Ann Layne and Stacey Blood are the creative masterminds behind this band, but “The Bloody Nerve” actually consists of five members in total. Stacey’s dad actually plays the bass in the band and has a lengthy history to his musical career beforehand, but playing with his son must be his greatest career achievement to date?
Laurie Ann Layne started her musical journey recording vocals for Motown’s India Arie’s Grammy nominated album “Testimony: vol 1, Life & Relationships, (coz that’s not a mouthful) back in 2006. I can definitely hear this previous style of singing/genre on certain tracks on this album, Namely “Find your love” although this track definitely has that southern twang to it, whereas the track “She” definitely has that Motown feel.
Laurie’s vocals, which are superb, are equally matched and well suited to Stacey’s, who’s voice, in the track and first single off the album “Place to Hide” reminded me of Brian Fallon of The Gas Light Anthem” however, that’s where the similarity ends, as in other tracks, Stacey’s vocals take on a completely unique life of their own, I bet he was a big hit with the ladies, back in his radio presenting days and most probably still is, in fact I bet they are both quite popular, as they are both pretty good looking human beings!
Personal favourite tracks for me are “Local Honey” as it does actually feature Stacey’s beloved Telecaster guitar. “Find Your Love” for its deep emotional connection to the tragedy they suffered, which I feel is the track that this comes through the most on and finally, the track “She” as it’s an uplifting track with the story which may, in some way match their own?
If you’re looking for an intelligent, mature album to listen to, whilst sheltering from the cold this winter, by the fire, holding a glass of red wine like I am tonight, then this album is the one for you! I hope to see you in the UK soon.
Album score 8.5/10
Review by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)
Laurie Ann Layne: Lead Vocals, Stacey Blood: Lead Vocals, Guitars, Bobby Blood: Bass Guitar, Peter Wolf: Drums, Terry Bayless: Piano, Organ.
Label: Antic Records Distributed by: The Orchard – Recorded at Overbar Studios in Ashland City, TN and Wolfsound in Fresno, CA. Produced, Engineered, Mixed by Stacey Blood – Mastered by Ed Brooks at RFI Mastering in Seattle, WA – Words and Music by Stacey Blood and Laurie Ann Layne except for *(Parsons / Ethridge) – Sad Bunny Music ASCAP, Riveroad Music ASCAP, *1971 Irving Music / House of Jones BMI.