Leeds-based three piece Nervous Twitch recently released their self-titled fourth LP via the ever dependable Reckless Yes Records (home to an ever expanding roster of Joyzine favourites including Bugeye, Fightmilk, Piney Gir and many more). As anyone familiar with their previous work might expect, it’s a fuzzed up thrill ride from start to finish, packed with powerpop bangers that borrow from 60s girl group pop, twangy surf rock and Ramones’ infectious punk tunesmithery without ever sounding like anything other than themselves.
We caught up with Erin, Jay and Ashley and asked them to walk us through the album, track by track.
Count Your Blessings
Erin: I was listening to The Vaselines and Wreckless Eric a lot when I wrote this song, and I feel they inspired different aspects of it. I see constructing each song as a fresh opportunity to develop ideas I had learnt in the previous song, and with this I was trying to develop my phrasing and add a bit of variety into the vocals.
Jay: Initially the song came together whilst I was strumming the guitar, just playing about with phrases. It’s about being bemused by the world and its contradictions, whilst being continuously surprised and impressed by someone close to you. It’s a stark, simple song and one of my favourites from the album.
Oh So Keen
Jay: We consider this song to be almost the sequel to our song ‘John Power’, from our second album. I guess we write about what we know, or who we know, and a character may crop up at work, we may meet them in a bar, or pass them on the street. I like how we’ve pared things down in the verses with just the bass and drums on this one.
Don’t Blame Me
Jay: It’s about not accepting people’s animosity towards you when you’re just trying to get on with life. We intentionally tried to contrast the clean, quieter verses with the distorted fuzzy chorus, the drums sound quite menacing in the bridge, it works really well.
Ash: I’ve always liked the dynamic of this track; each of the parts are quite contrasting, it gives the song a lot of character.
A Bag for Life
Erin: A while back I stood in as the lead singer for The Wharf Street Galaxy Band, it was a fun experience and insightful to see how other bands form their material. I was sparked by their hooky bass lines that drive their songs, and wanted to try this out for myself in a Twitch style. Thank you WSGB for asking me to take part and inspiring me!
Ash: I love to play this track, it’s a particular favourite of mine. It has great rhythm that makes it a very danceable song!
Not Everyone’s Out to Get Me
In this song we are saying; you can knock me down but don’t underestimate me as I’m going to keep on moving on regardless.
Keeping Faith in Something
Erin: Some people on this planet disregard another’s way of living as it isn’t how they would choose to live life themselves, but we should all be living to the rule of ‘do what makes you happy’ and ‘stay true to yourself’, so why battle me when I’m just trying to be the best version of me? Surely the world would be a better place if we just accepted one another for who we are? We are supposed to be advanced beings and sometimes I feel embarrassed to be human.
Everyone thinks this song is just about a know it all; but it’s about the certain kind of know it all who doesn’t really know it all, but they certainly think they know it all, so feel it is their duty to inform you of what you don’t know (even though you do… and they don’t!).
Boredom and Dissatisfaction
Erin: When we were writing this song, I would find myself singing it in my head every Monday morning on my walk to work in a sleepy haze after a weekend of gigging!
She’s in a Bad Way
This is a fun rocker with a definite nod to late ’70’s punk and new wave. It took us ages to figure out how many times we should repeat the last choruses for the outro, ha ha!
The Way That I Feel
Erin: Song writing is like therapy and allows you to transform emotions and feelings. But sometimes those emotions can be so intense, and although you’re driven to be creative you’re constantly fighting your inner demons which can make it hard to rise up out of the struggle. So, it’s about being stuck in a place where you’re struggling to write a song that you know will help you feel better about yourself, all because sometimes it’s hard to believe in yourself.
We also recorded the vocals through an old telephone headset which has given it an ace distorted effect.
Ash: This track needs to be turned up and shouted loud! What it does best: the noise, the grungy-feel, and the expression in the delivery. It’s a banger.
Jay: Another one of my favourites, I like how it goes on its own journey structurally almost morphing into a different song. It works great as the last song.
Nervous Twitch is out now via Reckless Yes Records on ltd edition cream 12″ vinyl, CD and digital download. Order yours at Bandcamp or get a Reckless Yes membership to receive all of the label’s 2021 album releases.
Interview by Paul Maps