Oh No! It’s Erik Nervous! The Indianan resident with a toe in Kalamazoo has just released a new LP titled Bugs. It’s a lot like his previous work with the Beta Blockers, but weirder. So much weirder. There is no one to hold Erik back on this release, so he could, theoretically, start it off with a thirty-second, a-tonal missive about bugs decaying and how it reminds him of dead relatives. I say theoretically, but that’s how the album starts in practice. And it doesn’t get back on the straight and narrow after that either. It’s completely off-road. Wondering the woods. Eating berries and turtle eggs and wearing moss and bark for clothes.
As far as frames of reference go, Erik is a pretty assiduous devotee of Devo. Something you can hear their influence in the wiggly, silicon bubble popping deployment of synths and grating guitars, but also in his shout-yodel vocals, which have the same strangely authoritative resonance as Mark Mothersbaugh’s pronunciamentos.
Beyond his Devo dedication though, the rest of Erik’s sound is his own. Collapsing Mid West garage rock and hardcore into something that sounds like Jay Reatard being dissolved in a vat of Die Kreuzen riffs. It’s pretty chaotic. The next closest descriptor I can muster is if you tried to play a Gizmos album at the same time as a live recording of Holy Shit!, then captured the conflagration on tape and edited it into a semi-coherent, bastardized, whole in post, while inhaling ten grams of homegrown hash and a half a case of Schlitz. I’m at a bit of a loss for words after encountering Bugs, but I’m enjoying every second of it.
You can buy and stream Erik Nervous’s Bugs LP below via Bandcamp: