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Anchored by the deadpan vocals and vicious guitars of Kim and Kelley Deal, THE BREEDERScame storming back this year with All Nerve, featuring the lineup from 1992’s iconic second album Last Splash. The new record has “many moments of bliss, even as the lyrics evoke isolation, frustration, and scuzz” (Pitchfork) as only this band can. The band originally formed as alternate creative outlet for then-Pixies’ bassist Kim and Throwing Muses guitarist Tanya Donelly, but the surprise success of Last Splash (for which Kelley had replaced Donelly, who went on to form Belly) and its propulsive single “Cannonball” rocketed them to the forefront of the ’90s alt rock revolution. The band’s output and touring became intermittent in the 2000s, as it passed through a series of breaks for other projects and lineup changes. With All Nerve, engineered and mixed with their legendary longtime producer Steve Albini, they’ve solidified their place as one of the most influential bands of their generation.
The Northampton band SPEEDY ORTIZ, which “once invited abundant comparisons to ’90s alternative rock bands like Pavement and Helium,” has continued to evolve, as frontwoman Sadie Dupuis “tackles the heavy task of killing her idols.” (Pitchfork) Their new record, Twerp Verse, came out this April.