This is a review of "Chrome" recorded by Nerve Engine. The review was written by Richard Garnett in 2003.
Nerve Engine wield their guitars, with the precision of a surgeon's scalpel. Barrage after barrage of "Gugga Gugga" guitars rain down and some intricate playing shows off the highly flexed skills of the band. But!...proficiency for playing your guitar on machine gun setting and obvious ability does not always give way to a parallel skill in song writing. Songs such as "Seven Days", "Shell", "Sit Alone" and the excellent "Get Made" excel when compared to some of the more leaden tracks that pad out the rest of the album such as "When I go" or "Route 1".
Influences are pinned firmly to their sleeves through out, from "Sound Garden" to "System of a Down" but unlike previous local exponents before them, Nerve Engine manage to leave enough of themselves in their sound to avoid appearing as mere wannabe replicants. Kris Allen's vocal is distinctive but sometimes lacks the power to push some of the songs forward. The other missing cog is the weakness of the drum production. With each technically perfect pattern so lovingly played, it seems only fair that the drums should be given some beef, rather than sounding at times like a weedy jazz kit.
With some more fine tuning, Nerve Engine will truly be the pride of the Grrr-rock road. For now the oil is spread a little to thinly to allow for maximum power, but she still makes a great noise when you put your foot down.