Red Hot Chili Peppers bring the heat with ‘Nerve Flip’

Red Hot Chili Peppers releases their newest song Nerve Flip as a part their latest album Unlimited Love. This is the bands 12th album and is a Japanese deluxe edition.

Photo courtesy of Genius

Red Hot Chili Peppers releases their newest song “Nerve Flip” as a part their latest album “Unlimited Love.” This is the bands 12th album and is a Japanese deluxe edition.

By Sydney Wood, buzz Editor

On Friday, the Red Hot Chili Peppers released a bonus track to accompany “Unlimited Love,” its latest album that was released about two months ago. 

The American rock band dropped “Nerve Flip” on June 3 as part of its Japanese deluxe edition of “Unlimited Love” — its 12th studio album. It’s also the band’s first Japanese bonus track since 2002.

The Chili Peppers have a distinctive sound, one that makes listeners go, “Oh, I know this band, it’s the Chili Peppers,” within seconds of listening to one of the band’s songs. 

“Nerve Flip” kicks off with a distorted, heavy guitar riff. Lead singer Anthony Kiedis enters with his signature baritone voice, with its pitch that rests only slightly above the other instrumentals, creating a layered harmony within the chorus. 

In the tune, the guitar and bass parts never totally separate from one another, creating a semi-cohesive vibe that continues throughout much of the song. 

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Once the chorus happens, a cool harmony occurs within the layered vocal parts, supplemented by the instrumental chord changes that occur in conjunction with pitch shifts in the lyrics. 

One of the Chili Peppers’ signature elements is bassist Michael Peter Balzary — known more commonly as Flea. From tunes like “Higher Ground” to “Aeroplane” to “Backeyed Blonde,” Flea is an obvious contender to be one of the greatest bassists of all time. 

Unfortunately, “Nerve Flip” doesn’t feature Flea as prominently as other tunes in the Chili Peppers’ repertoire. During many parts of the tune, the bass and guitar melodies move in sync, creating a relatively simple repetitive riff that’s accentuated by the intense, cymbal-heavy drumset. 

The lack of a funky Flea bassline in “Nerve Flip” particularly hurts after the number of awesome basslines featured in “Unlimited Love.”

Some particular standouts from the album are the insane intro and subsequent bassline in “Aquatic Mouth Dance;” the two-part bass harmony in the chorus of “She’s a Lover;” and the gentle, stepping-stone-like bass riff in “The Great Apes.”

But in “Nerve Flip,” it’s difficult to separate the bassline from the guitar riff, which would be a letdown in comparison to the other basslines featured on “Unlimted Love” — if the song wasn’t already a hit. 

The song’s intense drumbeat sets the tone for the tune, and its heaviness creates a solid foundation for the thunderous sound coming from the cohesive bass and guitar riffs.

A standalone guitar enters the song near its end, with its high-pitched tone whining above each repetition of the chorus. It remains mostly monotone but occasionally slides upward in pitch, leading the song to its stinging conclusion.

By the time the tune finishes, it feels as if it’s ended too soon. 

“Nerve Flip” has undoubtedly earned its place among the vast number of songs in the band’s lineup, and it sets the stage for the band’s future releases. Aside from being a good standalone tune, it also fits in well with the other tunes on “Unlimited Love,” which is an added benefit.

All in all, the tune is an absolute headbanger — a feature that’s typical of most of the Chili Peppers’ music. For what it lacks in a bassline, “Nerve Flip” makes up for in terms of its raw intensity and signature Chili Peppers’ tonality and style. 


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