Since 2008, Nervous Curtains has created music with a twitchy, agitated feel against powerful live drumming. The band continues to expand its post-punk aesthetic in fascinating and unique directions, and Kirkpatrick’s dramatic, defiant vocals play off the band’s increased incorporation of electronic sounds. After just releasing its third and most confident album Con last October and recently unleashing the dark, cinematic “Devastator” music video, the band is already back with the new Low Defender EP. Showcasing the band’s new single “Low Defender,” the EP is rounded out by three cover songs and three remixes of tracks from Con.
Beginning with the title track, the EP opens with an ominous, saxophone-assisted intro that shortly launches into a menacing synth riff. Kirkpatrick said, “This song was recorded in the Con sessions. We were all attached to it, but it didn’t seem to fit. It’s a weird, kind-of-prog-y song with odd time signatures that goes a lot of places in under 4 minutes. I think it’s a nice show of dexterity and agility that the three of us have developed after playing together for so many years and highlights interesting ideas we have for arranging our music.”
Next up is a cover of the Van Halen II deep cut, “Light Up the Sky” which the band has radically rearranged to make the song its own while maintaining the inherent energy. “We listen to lots of Van Halen, Judas Priest, and stuff like that in the van,” said Kirkpatrick. “It’s music we can all agree on and it’s great to drive to. We’ve been talking about doing a Van Halen cover for years, so this seemed like a good time to do it. I’ve always been fascinated with reinterpreting guitar songs on keyboard instruments.”
Nervous Curtains goes surprisingly pop on its version of Abba’s “The Visitors.” “This song was suggested by the graphic designer of our 3 full lengths, EJ Anttila, as payment for all the free work he’s done for us. I’d honestly never heard this song before and didn’t think I liked Abba. But this is a dark, paranoid Cold War-era song, so it’s natural fit for us. It definitely gave me some appreciation for their songwriting genius,” said Kirkpatrick.
“There’s a New World Opening for Me” is a dark, haunting song that The Kinks never properly released. Ray Davies’ acoustic demo version has floated around bootlegs for years, so here Nervous Curtains brings the track’s existential dread to life with minimal synth pulses and swells.
As for the remixes which make up the B-side of the EP:
Leeds UK 5-piece Vessels, an increasingly popular act at European electronic-focused music festivals, turns out a hypnotic, sub-heavy throb that is rich with rhythmic texture on their techno reimagining of “White Flashes.”
Black Taffy (aka This Will Destroy You’s Donovan Jones) mixes ambient synths and syrup-y DJ Screw beats on his “City of Hate” Submerged Mix.
Fort Worth, TX’ electronic dub duo Wire Nest crank up the Memory Man pedal on their “Devastator Dub” Remix.