For those who have been hoping that alternative rock is on the verge of making a big comeback, the release of a new single by the Breeders should be very encouraging. The track, called “Nervous Mary,” will be part of “All Nerve,” the band’s first album in a decade.
While the alt-rock group has an inconsistent history in terms of membership and frequency of new releases, it does have a ton of lasting respect based on its pedigree and memorable songs.
Formed in 1989, the Breeders features Kim Deal from the Pixies and Tanya Donelly of Throwing Muses. Over the past nearly thirty years, only Deal has been with the group for the entire time.
Working with legendary producer Steve Albini, the band released the album “Pod” in 1990, which received critical acclaim. While the album was not commercially successful, it has grown more significant over time. Deceased Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain cited it as one of his favorite records.
In 1993, the Breeders released “Last Splash,” which featured a massive hit in “Cannonball.” During this time, Kim Deal added her identical twin sister Kelley to the band. The Breeders toured with Nirvana, played Lollapalooza, and secured a platinum certification.
After Kelley Deal got tangled up in drug-related problems in 1995, the Breeders went on hiatus. They did not reemerge until 2001 when they released “Title TK.” Following another dormant period, the group released “Mountain Battles” in 2008, only to go quiet again.
“All Nerve” is significant because it is their first album since “Last Splash” that features this exact lineup of musicians.
“Nervous Mary” is a particularly interesting track because it is unusually haunting and dark. Hardcore fans as well as those who only really know “Cannonball” will recognize the sound, and time will soon tell if the Breeders are part of an alt-rock comeback.