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Red Hot Chili Peppers share new song 'Nerve Flip'

Red Hot Chili Peppers - 'Nerve Flip'

Two months after the release of their perfectly fine, but ultimately inessential, 12th LP Unlimited Love, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have given an international release to the song ‘Nerve Flip’, which had previously only been included as a bonus track on Japanese versions of the LP.

There’s something about Japanese bonus tracks: back when physical CDs were still a viable way to make money off of music, pretty much every album had special bonus tracks exclusively for the land of the rising sun. When you’re casually strolling through Wikipedia these days, it seems like every major album, from Madonna’s Music to Lady Gaga’s The Fame Monster, had to have a bonus track for international markets, specifically in Japan.

In the age of streaming, exclusive geographic bonus tracks are going the way of the dodo, replaced by more generic and global expanded editions of albums. But I’m assuming that the Chili Peppers can still make major bank in Japan (and probably anywhere in the world), even if it was probably inevitable that ‘Nerve Flip’ would eventually see an official release.

Which version of the Chili Peppers is this? Is it the dry funk of the Blood Sugar Sex Magik era? The psychedelic swirl of One Hot Minute? The softer alt-rock friendly sounds of By the Way? If you guessed “Sludge metal-adjacent”, I don’t know why you would, but you’d be kind of correct.

It seems pretty obvious why ‘Nerve Flip’ wasn’t included on the original version of Unlimited Love: it’s heavier and headbang-ier than the relatively dulcet tones that fill out most of the album. It’s equally inane, as is Anthony Kiedis’ wont, talking about pink flamingos and kissing circuit breakers. Things don’t ever cross over into super-dark territory, but ‘Nerve Flip’ definitely sounds like it would have been perfect for some generic post-grunge band in the mid-to-late 1990s. Since the Chili Peppers were spending that time trying to get their minds around the psychedelic metal of Dave Navarro, it seems like they’re making up for lost time.

‘Nerve Flip’ isn’t a bad song, and its chorus hook is pretty solid, but it definitely works best as a tossed-off bonus track. Thank god that’s exactly what it is, and as a non-essential track from a largely non-essential album, there’s no reason why you can’t be grooving to ‘Nerve Flip’ as you’re assembling your Creed-heavy summer playlist, if that’s your thing.

Check out the audio for ‘Nerve Flip’ down below.