Tue 11 May 2010
Lonelady- Nerve Up
It’s difficult to view this album as anything more than nostalgia. Julie Campbell has stripped the ’80s naked, picking apart her favourite elements of The Fall, Gang Of Four, The Motels and Wire. She offers few original ideas and rarely creates anything that can be described as an innovative piece of music. Campbell is however a very competent musician, her songs are perfectly performed and her guitar playing is world class. For that reason Nerve Up is an easy listen; it’s got a lot of characteristics that are easy to identify with, provided you’re not looking for a serious reincarnation of one particular band. It’s essentially post-punk without any depth; it’s post-punk with the defining elements of punk removed and replaced by the most inoffensive elements of American country music. Eurythmics fans have been enjoying this type of music for years. It’s difficult to draw on Nerve Up for any type of creative inspiration, so many of the songs pass by without leaving any lasting impression. Brief elements stand out but they seem to be consistently repeated throughout the album, leading to a somewhat grating and frustrating overdose. Campbell’s guitar playing defines her style but her song writing is stuck in a restless time warp. She’d be best playing guitar in a larger band where she can concentrate on forming more intricate parts, because after hearing the opening track ‘If Not Now’ you’ve heard everything she has to offer.