As far as pop/punk/alternative bands named after (to some) obscure quotes from the original Star Wars films are concerned, Nerf Herder is a cut above.
The Santa Barbara band, which formed in 1994 and reached the apex of their popularity with the theme music to the hit ’90s TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, recently released a new album called Rockingham.
The new LP ended a lengthy drought for the band, whose previous album was 2008’s Nerf Herder IV. It was supported with a lengthy Pledge Music campaign that acted as a pre-order system, and it worked as the project raised more than their stated goal and the album was finally released earlier this month.
Musically, you wouldn’t know the band had spent so much time between records, as Rockingham features their trademark amusing lyrics, nerd culture references and bouncy, energetic riffs. It’s a nostalgic listen, for sure.
Opening track Portland, for example, more or less perfectly encapsulates Nerf Herder’s essence:
Go back to Portland
Go back to school
Go back to the 90s
When shit was cool
are its opening lines, after all.
Thematically, the topics covered on Rockingham serve as a what’s-what of nerd culture. There’s At The Con, an ode to the comic convention circuit that also has its own great animated music video:
There’s The Girl Who Listened to Rush, which is rather self-explanatory:
Allie Goertz (a tribute to the popular internet celebrity/musician), Dr. Who, Ghostbusters III, and perhaps one of the best songs they’ve released thus far in their career, We Opened For Weezer.
Nerf Herder did, in fact, open for Weezer back in the 1990s and the song is a fine tribute to that experience – plus, it’s filled with all kinds of meta-jokes and references about Weezer.
Really, it’s great to have these guys back in action. On April 8, they’ll play a special album release party gig at the Trobuadour in West Hollywood, and the supporting acts will be Fartbarf and Geezer, a band of ‘old guy’s covering Weezer’s Pinkerton and Blue Album material and Allie Goertz herself.
In a homage to their We Opened for Weezer song, though, Nerf Herder will play BEFORE Geezer…since that’s almost the same thing, right?
Listen to Rockingham below, via Spotify.