The Nymphs - The Nymphs album review

Overlooked glam-grunge classic remastered

Cover art for The Nymphs - The Nymphs album

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As the 90s dawned, corporate America still had no real idea how to sell female-fronted rock bands. They’d sign them, but then, baffled by what to do with them, they’d simply promote their male artists instead. Especially if the female artist in question was ‘difficult’.

Jane’s Addiction and the Red Hot Chili Peppers signed to Geffen at the same time as The Nymphs, but as both their careers soared into the ascendant, The Nymphs languished ‘on ice’. When they were finally alloted studio time, Geffen halted their debut album sessions with former Pistols/ Clash engineer Bill Price so Price could breath life into GN’R’s Use Your Illusion I and II. Consequently The Nymphs missed its moment. And as its delayed release clashed with that of Nirvana’s Nevermind you can probably guess which one Geffen chose to promote.

Nymphs vocalist Inger Lorre was, in many ways, the female equivalent of Axl. Turned up to 11. Inger registered disapproval of Geffen’s delaying tactics by pissing on her A&R’s desk. She was flamboyant, charismatic, and had been known to engage in a ‘sex act’ mid-show. Of course, similar notoriety had made stars of many male rockers, but it only served to make a pariah of Inger. Which is massively unjust.

The Nymphs bridged the swaggering chutzpah of glam and the raw angst of grunge, while boasting the finest attributes of both. Lorre was pure rock star, an iron butterfly with an ennui-honeyed, post-coital swoon of a voice.

Nymphs, meanwhile, encapsulates all that was great about the time it defines.

Ian Fortnam

Classic Rock’s Reviews Editor for the last 20 years, Ian stapled his first fanzine in 1977. Since misspending his youth by way of ‘research’ his work has also appeared in such publications as Metal Hammer, Prog, NME, Uncut, Kerrang!, VOX, The Face, The Guardian, Total Guitar, Guitarist, Electronic Sound, Record Collector and across the internet. Permanently buried under mountains of recorded media, ears ringing from a lifetime of gigs, he enjoys nothing more than recreationally throttling a guitar and following a baptism of punk fire has played in bands for 45 years, releasing recordings via Esoteric Antenna and Cleopatra Records.