Nervous Gender


Nervous Gender Music From Hell 2xLP

I didn’t realize this, but this 2xLP (an expanded version of their LP from 1981) is described as being legendary synth punk—in the end, this proves to be true. The band had a cast of characters that were members at one time or another, including PHRANC and Alice Bag. That’s pretty cool. I’m generally not a fan of the 2xLP format, but when you’re trying to really capture something this significant, it can make sense. Just the genre name of synth punk makes me anxious, and the record itself starts off reinforcing that. Particularly at the beginning, it’s got a frenetic feel to it, and I get the impression that wasn’t accidental. It’s also artsy, which can’t really surprise anyone. As you move into the 31 cuts, it does start to settle down some, becoming almost hypnotizing. As you might expect with 31 cuts, there are some hits and some misses, with far more hits than misses, including a completely unrecognizable cover of the SEX PISTOLS’ “Pretty Vacant.” In the end, imagine a soup that includes synth, punk, and art school, and then imagine an influence of Gregorian chants. Whether or not this is your cup of tea, it’s an important recording of an important movement within an important movement. That’s pretty cool.