Hailing from Birmingham, AL, Ryan Howell and John McNaughton make up the experimental hip-hop duo known as Nerves Baddington. Ryan and John are 20-year veterans of the Birmingham music scene, having previously performed in Valerie #4 and Entropy together and Dorian Grey, Greycoat and Kinoflux (John) and Abstract Chemistry (Ryan).  In addition, Howell attained considerable success under the Inkline moniker, with multiple releases and sharing the stage (as part of the group ManeLine) with national acts such as Dilated Peoples, Hieroglyphics, The Pharcyde and Gnarls Barkley.

Ryan and John parted ways after Entropy in the late 90’s.  Ryan turned to hip-hop and honed his skills as an MC with Birmingham group Abstract Chemistry and eventually relocated to Denver to pursue hip-hop full time.  John continued to play in punk and indie rock inspired bands. Subsequently, the pursuit of self-destruction caught up with both Howell and McNaughton.  It was on the other side of this that the seeds of Nerves Baddington were planted.  While on a mandatory, state sponsored getaway, Ryan spent most of his time writing music for a solo Inkline album entitled Stones Cry which was eventually released in early 2014; he also wrote a handful of songs with a guitar that did not fit the Inkline aesthetic, but were crafted with the same brutal honesty and social commentary. After returning to Birmingham, Howell reached out to McNaughton and Nerves Baddington was born. In preparation for Birmingham’s fourth annual Secret Stages festival, the duo adapted tracks from Stones Cry for the stage and at the same time began perfecting seven songs that would soon become their first EP as Nerves Baddington, released in December 2014.  Three accompanying music videos have been released and the duo is constantly writing and recording new material.  Nerves Baddington have played some of Birmingham’s favorite venues including The Firehouse, Iron City, Bottletree, Saturn and Syndicate Lounge.  They have performed as part of Birmingham’s best annual festivals such as Secret Stages, Sidewalk Film Festival and High Five Fest as well as the first installment of an AL.com series highlighting local bands and breweries.

Nerves Baddington is the culmination of the life experience and multifarious musical influences of Howell and McNaughton. Inkline’s effortless flow and wordplay is just as evident and prolific here as it was with his solo material and his work with ManeLine. The duo lean on their punk and shoegaze influences through their use of effects, synths and other unconventional instruments, as well as their choices of samples. Nerves Baddington combine programming and live instrumentation in a unique and exciting manner on record and, especially onstage, where they take pride in delivering an impassioned performance. This DIY aesthetic makes Nerves Baddington a unique change of pace for a hip-hop or a rock bill.

With energetic new songs, a revamped live show and an ear toward societal issues, Nerves Baddington is ready to turn heads, no matter the size of the stage or the eclecticness of the bill.







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Our friend Dylan Wachman designed this, our very first t-shirt. We printed a limited run to test the waters. Once these are gone there will never be any exactly like this again. White screen print on black Gildan Softstyle tee in men's sizes S-M-L-XL. (if you're local, we can work out a pickup/delivery thing and I can refund your shipping cost)


Designed by our friend Dylan Wachman based on your favorite non-Fugazi t-shirt. Printed on a super soft Next Level white shirt.