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Small Reactions: Nerve Pop" b/w "Teaser Trailer" and "Sudden Walks""

The Great Big

In one sweeping motion, "Nerve Pop" opens Small Reactions' second 7-inch with a gentle, melodic descent that spirals into heart-bursting proto-punk rhythms and yearning. But no matter how swiftly it moves along, the song sticks to the melodic phrase set in motion. It's a catchy number that illustrates how much the Atlanta band has grown since releasing its debut single, "Cult Hero Jonathan Lewin," in November 2010. Singer/guitarist Scotty Hoffman's fractured voice perfectly matches the guitar tones he summons throughout. On vinyl, the song isn't quite the heavy-hitter it is when played live, but there's enough kinetic energy here to make up for any minor shortcomings. On the B-side, "Teaser Trailer" and "Sudden Walks" become one with effortless grace as the drawn-out guitar cycles and Krautrock rhythms merge with style. With the group's ambitions and abilities balanced into a refined sound, Small Reactions has only sharpened its edge. (4 out of 5 stars)