Sonic Youth, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Tocotronic
Generation X’s, the forgotten noise equivalent of John Spencer
" Angry, despondent noise "
“Wir machen alles falsch, wir machen alles richtig,” the trio stated to their local newspaper, the Stuttgart Nachritten. Basically translated as, “we’re doing every wrong, it’s right.” For a band as obnoxious, loud and un-radio friendly, for Die Nerven (a.k.a. The Nerves, as in, “it’s getting on my nerves”) it’s a quote that makes sense. How else would these noise-rock misfits get on the front covers of leading music publications and headline huge tours across Germany. Now, almost a decade into their career they release their fourth LP Fake. Some might say it’s their most accessible record, notably after releasing their noisier Hüsker Du and Gang of Four-like offerings with the LPs Fun, Fluidium, and Asoziale Medien. There is however nothing fake about Fake, a record that plays on the anxieties of fake culture and fake-news labelling. It’s rough and ready, but well-orchestrated. A targeted rage.
So yeah, these guys are loud like their distortion pedals and have a habit of giving journalists tough times. Their lyrics refer to the futility of life. They are modern doom merchants, delivering their nihilist takes on life to the four-corners of Germany. Musikexpress even described them as “the voice of a generation that feels powerless”. But, they are also part of a generation that is making German-sung rock relevant again, and ironically through their stubborn, yet singular take on German-punk. They are bringing a wave of positivity back to the scene.
And who cares if no-one outside of Germany will book them because of it. With the amount of fans they’re getting at their shows, they probably don’t care. But then again, Die Nerven probably don’t care about a lot of things.