Home > News & Reviews > Nervus

Nervus - Everything Dies (Album Review)

Friday, 16 March 2018 Written by Laura Johnson

The title of Nervus’s sophomore album belies an optimistic streak. ‘Everything Dies’ suggests a bleak outlook and little hope of consolation, but throughout the record vocalist and guitarist Em Foster discusses acceptance, both personal and societal, alongside some frank words about insecurity and the damage done by preconceptions.

Over the course of 10 tracks, Foster ricochets between confidence and anxiety, defiance and defeat. The music that accompanies her lyrics is just as contradictory. Often the band's spiky, upbeat pop-punk riffs, notably those on Sick Sad World and The Way Back, propel us so quickly into a singalong that the grim subject matter is overlooked. But never for long.

The opener, Congratulations, immediately tugs at heartstrings by focusing on the impact of assuming rigid gender roles from birth. “On your first breath the expectation rests: who you should lie with in bed and exactly how you’ll dress,” Foster sings.

She follows it with the lyrical equivalent of a resigned sigh followed by a swiftly raised middle finger: “And you won’t fit, no matter how they try, in a box that’s half your size. So give up and let them hate the real you.”

Nobody Loses All The Time, inspired by the poem of the same name, focuses on the “difference between confidence and ego”. It has a reassuring, mantra-like chorus and also takes in the inky black humour of E.E. Cummings’ source material. “As we grow old, it’s in our interests to remind ourselves nobody loses all the time,” Foster sings.

There are other aspects to their sound, though. On Medicine, guitars chug and wail while Paul Etienne’s keys provide melancholic accompaniment, and the closer, Fall Apart, finds him taking the musical lead, adding another dynamic to an already multifaceted album. Drummer Jack Kenny keeps things ticking over at a decent lick and Karl Woods fills in the gaps with intricate basslines not usually associated with punk.

“I might be on my back, at least I’m looking up,” Foster sings on It Follows. It’s a line that captures the essence of the record: learn to live through, and make the most of, shitty situations. Nervus are aware of the world’s imperfections but still fight for their place in it, maintaining a healthy balance of optimism and cynicism.





Let Us Know What You Think - Leave A Comment!




Related News

Nervus Announce Autumn UK And European Tour With Great Wight
Wed 19 Sep 2018
Photo: Derek Bremner Nervus have announced a series of co-headline dates with Great Wight.
Nervus Post Video For Fall Apart
Wed 18 Apr 2018
Nervus have shared a video for Fall Apart.
Nervus Announce Debut Headline London Show
Tue 03 Apr 2018
Photo: Derek Bremner Nervus will play their debut headline show this summer.
Nice Electricity: Inside Jawbone's Sizzling Old School Debut
Wed 14 Nov 2018
Photo: Rob Blackham Sometimes an album arrives from out of nowhere and knocks you off your feet. There’s something new, yet familiar, about its melodies, its heart-warming immediacy and the effortless chemistry that oozes from the bewitching songs within. We’re basically talking the musical equivalent of love at first sight, which is exactly what fans of bluesy rock ‘n’ roll and American roots music will doubtless feel after hearing Jawbone’s quietly magnificent self-titled bow.
Boygenius - Boygenius (Album Review)
Tue 13 Nov 2018
Photo: Lera Pentelute Supergroup is a big, ugly label. It’s reductive, and it ramps up the pressure on what is always a new endeavour—even if the players are seasoned pros. Friction is naturally created by expectations rubbing up against the mechanics of making music in a fresh formation, often leading to overhyped records that feel like a tired exhalation of breath from their first note.
'We Wanted To Reach People on a Personal Level': Pijn Discuss The Genre-Defying Power Of 'Loss'
Mon 12 Nov 2018
A striking development in the past decade or so has been the extent to which people discover music through mood as opposed to genre. Streaming services have adapted to perceived consumer demand by releasing reams of playlists tailored to every emotion or context imaginable, from deeply depressed to “songs to sing to in the car”. This has its upsides and downsides for a band like Pijn.
Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers - Bought To Rot (Album Review)
Thu 22 Nov 2018
‘Bought To Rot’ is not an Against Me! Record. Repeat: ‘Bought To Rot’ is not an Against Me! record. Laura Jane Grace might be among friends on her first album with the Devouring Mothers—the roll call does feature drummer Atom Willard and engineer Marc Jacob Hudson, both holdovers from her day job—but the focus is very different.
Mick Jenkins - Pieces Of A Man (Album Review)
Tue 20 Nov 2018
Mick Jenkins was riding the crest of a wave when his breakout mixtape 'The Water[s]' dropped in the summer of 2014. Talented heads like Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa, Noname and Saba would all go on to emerge from the same bubbling Chicago hip-hop scene, but Jenkins had positioned himself in critics' minds as the moody and technically gifted older brother. He already appeared fully formed in an artistic sense, framing highly conceptual songwriting with jazz-influenced verses and a raspy vocal delivery.
 
< Prev   Next >