Back in January of 2016, a handful of friends and I cruised on up the California coast to San Francisco to see Dead to Me play. This was back when Dead to Me had just reunited with Jack Dalrymple just prior to Awesome Fest 9, and no one was really sure what was going on. Would this be the final chance to see this classic lineup live? The answer was a resounding “nah dawg.” I’ve seen them no less than six times since that cold January night. The point is that the opening band at that show, Sciatic Nerve, blew me away. Here we are twenty-one months later, and Sciatic Nerve is finally releasing their debut self-titled LP.
I’m sure every single fucking review of this album or any news on this band forever will mention this, but for posterity’s sake: Sciatic Nerve is made up of members of Swingin’ Utters, Western Addiction, Cobra Skulls, and Nothington. But please, put your little pop-punk boner away. Sciatic Nerve is none of those bands; this shit is hardcore fast punk rock and/or roll.
Eighteen minutes. When I downloaded the album to review, it said it was twelve tracks at eighteen minutes. I had to double check to make sure that was right. It absolutely was. The opening track, “Sciatic Nerve,” is 50 whole seconds of thrashy punk instrumentals while singer Chris Matulich screams the band’s name, album title, and track title at you. That’s not even the shortest track. “Dogs” clocks in at only 30 seconds long, but feels right at home in the middle of this frantic album.
Not every song is a short burst of screams and fuzzy bass. “Bright Lights” is a more traditional two minutes and thirty seconds in length. But after an extremely fast banger like “Sleep,” it feels too long and out of place. It’s not a bad song; it just feels weird it’s so long. Luckily, it’s followed up with “Get Away,” another track that’s only about a minute long. “Get Away” also veers about as close to the melodic pop-punk type of track you might expect. I also think it has a synth or something in it. It’s fucking tight.
They close the album with “Leave Me Alone.” When I saw Sciatic Nerve that night in San Francisco, they closed the show with this song. About halfway through, Chris just threw down the mic and walked offstage, leaving the rest of the band to jam out the rest of the song onstage. It could just be nostalgia from that show, but it put a smile on face when I heard it also close out the record.
If you heard who was involved in Sciatic Nerve and basically expecting Cobra Skulls 2: Nothington Really Matters, get lost kook. If you’re into the fast hardcore punk shit, this album is for you. This band blew me away when I saw them play live and thankfully, nothing was lost in the recording process.
Sciatic Nerve: 90 seconds out of 100.
Vinyl Nerds! Anxious and Angry has pressed 100 copies of Sciatic Nerve on Mint Green vinyl and 400 on Pink vinyl. Treat yourself while they are still available!
Fest goers! Sciatic Nerve is playing at Durty Nelly’s at 10:30pm on Saturday, October 28th! See you there!