Song of the Month, May: The Nerve Tattoo

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      Okay, they say three times is a charm, so here we go.

      The Nerve Tattoo, spiteful and divine. But what is it? I’m not at all sure if I’ve ever understood the lyrics to this one. One of their poppiest and most well known (?) songs I guess, and a killer tune. Absolutely killer. I love the drive in this one, and the melodies, awesome.

      A lot has been said about the back story of the song, with the record label wanting to chop off the cacophonic ending and whatnot, and I guess I (with some good will) read the lyrics as a sort of anti-popsong-recordlabel-thing.

      The Nerve Tattoo, as I understand it, is the creative urge, it’s what forces you to strive for that one perfect piece of art. It makes you think, and learn and constantly put something out there. The song deals with the impossible task that it is. It also sort of implies that its easier to create, sell and market shit instead of something with value and meaning, “it’s still those with the least to say that will be heard…”

      As for record labels, there’s the line “designed to shift a million units or two, designed to mean nothing at all for anyone”.

      I don’t know, like I said, I’m not sure I’m getting it at all. It could just as easily be about drug dependency.


        Out of all their pop-hits, this one is my unchallenged favorite.

        One of the best known MP songs (deservedly), übercatchy chorus and an

        outro leading up to that explosion that the record label wanted to fade

        out because it wasn’t radio-friendly enough. (fuck off)

        I seem to remember an article where Bent said that the lyrics were partly

        about being signed to Sony/Columbia and sorta going through the standard major

        label bullshit. (Or maybe it was the audio-commentary on the Hair Cuts DVD?)

        Anyway, when it comes to Bent’s lyrics it’s never that easy or straightforward.

        The Nerve Tattoo is one of the best Norwegian pop-rock songs ever.


          I´ve always thought of it as a reply (fuck you) too those who yelled SELLOUT! when they signed to a majorlabel and stopped making noisemetal.

          Also actually about his MP logo tattoo (thats what he has tattoed isn´t it)

          – meaning he´s all dedicated to MP

          “i´m Bent, MP is my band, and i do whatever i wanna do (like release a vinyl only album), so fuck all you haters”

          I´ve never cared to much about lyrics thou, so i´m probably way off. I´m not even sure that he has the logo tattooed, Great song btw


            I think it’s got something to do with the major label case, like otherdemon implies. But my spin is this: The Nerve Tattoo is bents frustration concerning the “big bucks” bullshit, but being a small band against a major label is like David vs goliath. So instead of banging his fist in the table, he keeps his feelings locked inside himself, confident that their music will do the talking – “but thats OK. it doesn’t matter anyway. it’s still those with the least to say that will be heard…”

            Or he can be talking about his little ringworm which he’s named his nerve tattoo. What do i know. Fun to ponder though :)


              “but thats OK. it doesn’t matter anyway. it’s still those with the least to say that will be heard…”

              ’nuff said. :D

              btw my wish for next month’s song: “no evil”.


              The nerve tattoo? Blissard.Another jewel from their fifth full length studio album where MP continued to work with their poppy pre-written songstructure as i’ve heard on early TM.But the energy is much stronger on this one where MP kinda combined their inner-frustrations with sweet melodies instead of the experimental innovations heard on DB.Blissard also showed me for the first time the kind of musical influences MP (C.S.N/Lynyrd Skynyd)used in their songs, Blissard was a something completely new in times where grunge dominated the whole generation.The lyrics could easily point out to the band’s experience of a powerfull surge of emptiness and solitude gone through in times where labels didn’t care much for these types of concepts or new associations by brave new minds.It could also be about, like TB said, the process of dealing with this creative urge.A indie classic? MP best poppy song? Maybe…but sure a different type of music heard at that time.

                Blissard also showed me for the first time the kind of musical influences MP (C.S.N/Lynyrd Skynyd)used in their songs,

                (quoted: mark de klerk)

                I think that’s an interesting observation as I feel people often finds whatever they want to find in music. I played Blissard to british guy who had never heard about them before. He said he liked it, but thought it was very inspired by The Cure, I don’t hear that at all, but I hear a lot of Sonic Youth & Sebadoh, while Mark hears CSN/Lynyrd.

                Like someone on this forum once said: Blissard is the best Sonic Youth album ever!


                  The only thing missing is kim gordons crackhead voice :)


                    Most MP records do sound “retro” in different ways, but Blissard was pure mid-90ties indie rock.


                      Blissard and BH/BC is pure Sonic Youth. I mean, Kill Devil Hills is almost a tribute to The Sprawl, it’s pretty awesome.


                        or teenage riot!?


                          Sonic Youth copied STG, Heartattac Mac and Kill Devil Hills to make 20 records. Boo to them.


                            @Evol: Of course, I meant Teenage Riot, not the Sprawl, sorry :)


                            It took me some time and some re-thinking about this subject before i came up with the next conclusion.The song to me seems different, not at all a sonic youth sound i heard here, this time due to the lyrics that tells the way the author deals with the gift to say what can’t be said.The nerve tattoo must be something like a thought from a state of mind that’s not similar to others and even tells us the stressfull process of recieving no recognition and other dangers of telling what can’t be told.Maybe the author also points out to the nothingness meaningless stardom-role most music artists live and the mental-poorness that comes out of to much wealth.The author could warn about the abuse he could easily fall for when one decides to use the gift as a way to attract wealth and forget more and more about the meaning of this gift to tell others what they don’t know yet or don’t want to know.

                            That is why i think the song is not the same as many other motorpsycho songs.It deals with the authors own state of mind instead of the being of a other person and the way the author thinks he should be dealing with this.The author calls the nerve tattoo spiteful and divine, that’s interesting because it decribes a struggle that almost looks like a punishment when one doesn’t give in to the nerve tattoo that makes you live to tell.I think it is a honesty that the author tells us about it.


                            Now, regarding the song its musical structure and the fact of resembling sonic youth likeness i thought it was never really mp’s aim to sound like other bands, in fact i find it a bit of a disgrace for a band, who has been trying to achieve a band-own sound for years, to see others comparing them with sonic youth.The whole de-tuning, song structure and studio sound is entirely different and while sonic youth often uses “spoken word” in their recordings, mp just makes easy listening sing alongs which i have not seen or heard at any of sonic youth records.It’s kinda hard to sound like S.Y without working with their formula, just listen some of blonde redhead and you know what i mean.And i find Blissard not at all in its element between these kind of bands.Same for BH/BC.

                            The way i sees it is as followed: Blissard is just an creation on itself entirely and purely original music thats written from peeps who at the time where to busy with their own quality then having this concern to sound like others.It has always been the fans own responsibility which way they decide their fav. band should be classified with regarding their sound.It much easier for us fans to nail down bands to other band-likeness so we can explain to others what we like in their music and which way we could do best to explain the type of sound the band has of where we heard it before.It is never easy to get hold of something new without comparing it to other existing bands.A bit of a shame while in most cases the band gets forced into directions they never have intented to sound like, look what happend at the grunge-hype, bands still try to sound like that today while they hit the charts for nr 1 aimened position.What if todays underground pride becomes tommorows mainstream hype? Will S.Y still make records when all charts are full of bands who have a similar sound? And who is responsibile for all this? My guess it’s just the peeps mistake the way we disturb the whole freedom of creativity.We obviously can’t live without making a comparence.

                            To me mp is just a rock band who holds the talent to pull their sound in so many different directions that the only thing left to do for us is to act like spoiled kids.More evidence of a band who’s grown much more mature in time and has proven they don’t bother that much about band-likeness.

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