Lost recordings from the Brooklynite's mid-noughties reformation.
Much like that other New York band The Velvet Underground, The Optic Nerve may not have played much outside their home city, or sold many records in their brief first flowering. But posthumous LP releases by Get Hip and Screaming Apple Records have resulted in a well deserved re-appraisal of the band's sound.
In 1985 on our side of the pond, bands such as Jesus & Mary Chain, Primal Scream, The Bodines et al were taking inspiration from mid '60s folk rock, dressing like Sterling Morrisson and finding an appreciative audience. In the US such back-to-the-garage mentality was out of step with what mainstream audiences wanted. Punk rock had yet to go overground.
Skip forward to 2005 and The Optic Nerve mainstays Bobby Belfiore and Tony Matura form a new line-up of the band to record an album's worth of material. These recordings ended up shelved for a further ten years. It's only now, that State Records are issuing two cuts from these sessions.
'Penelope Tuesday' is the upbeat, poppy A-side, sounding like a summer smash best heard on AM Radio. Flipside is a more considered moodier affair, big on jangle, vocal harmonies and descending chord sequences. Both sides are worthy of your attention though. Let's hope that full album will sometime see the light of day.
Click here for The Optic Nerve on Facebook.
Click here for the State Records website.