On Friday, the Red Hot Chili Peppers released a bonus track to accompany “Unlimited Love,” their latest album released about two months ago.
The American rock band released “Nerve Flip” on June 3 as part of their Japanese deluxe edition of “Unlimited Love” – their 12th studio album. It is also the band’s first Japanese bonus track since 2002.
The Chili Peppers have a distinctive sound, which makes listeners say “Oh, I know that band, it’s the Chili Peppers”, seconds after listening to one of the band’s songs.
“Nerve Flip” kicks off with a heavy, distorted guitar riff. Lead vocalist Anthony Kiedis enters with his signature baritone voice, with its pitch that sits only slightly above the other instrumentals, creating a layered harmony in the chorus.
In the melody, the guitar and bass parts never fully separate, creating a semi-cohesive vibe that continues throughout the song.
Once the chorus hits, cool harmony occurs in the layered vocals, complemented by the instrumental chord changes that occur in conjunction with pitch changes in the lyrics.
One of the iconic elements of the Chili Peppers is bassist Michael Peter Balzary, better known as Flea. From tracks like “Higher Ground” to “Aeroplane” to “Backeyed Blonde”, Flea is an obvious candidate to be one of the greatest bass players of all time.
Unfortunately, “Nerve Flip” doesn’t feature Flea as prominently as other tracks in the Chili Peppers’ repertoire. For many parts of the melody, the bass and guitar melodies sync up, creating a relatively simple repetitive riff that is accentuated by the intense, cymbal-heavy drumming.
The lack of a funky Flea bassline in “Nerve Flip” hurts especially after the number of awesome basslines featured in “Unlimited Love.”
Some highlights of the album are the crazy intro and the following bassline in “Aquatic Mouth Dance”; the two-part bass harmony in the chorus of “She’s a Lover”; and the sweet springboard-like bass riff in “The Great Apes.”
But in “Nerve Flip” it’s hard to separate the bassline from the guitar riff, which would be disappointing compared to the other basslines featured on “Unlimted Love” – if the song wasn’t already one. hit.
The song’s intense drum beat sets the tone for the melody, and its heaviness lays a solid foundation for the thunderous sound coming from the cohesive bass and guitar riffs.
A standalone guitar enters the song towards the end, with its high pitch whining above each repetition of the chorus. It remains mostly monotonous but occasionally slips up, bringing the song to its blistering conclusion.
By the time the track ends, it feels like it ended too soon.
“Nerve Flip” has undoubtedly earned its place among the large number of songs on the band’s lineup, and it sets the stage for the band’s future releases. Apart from being a good standalone track, it also fits well with the other tracks on “Unlimited Love”, which is an added bonus.
Overall, the tune is an absolute headbanger – a typical feature of most Chili Peppers music. For what it lacks in a bass line, “Nerve Flip” makes up for in terms of raw intensity and typical Chili Peppers tone and style.