It’s been an eventful 18 months since Nervus emerged with their debut album, ‘Permanent Rainbow’. From signing with Big Scary Monsters to touring with Creeper and Kamikaze Girls, the Watford-based quartet’s profile has certainly changed yet as heard on this second full-length, ‘Everything Dies’, they are still as grounded as ever.
Once again the confessional words of vocalist Em Foster serve as the album’s lyrical spine. Having come out as a non-binary trans woman last time out, ‘Everything Dies’ sees Foster taking a more direct, at times angry, and outward approach. From the start, she questions the expectations you’re given before you’re even born while doubting her future because of her past. Coated with an atmospheric, jangly indie punk skin, it sets the tone for the remainder of the record.
On the rumbling ‘Sick Sad World’, Foster finds comfort in starting over, accepting who she is. Yet on ‘Recycled Air’ and ‘It Follows’, she gives the impression that society’s unwillingness to accept can be a burden to Foster. Undoubtedly, it’s a delicate and personal matter for Foster yet she leaves it open to interpretation for those in and out of the LGBTQ+ community.
Musically, ‘Everything Dies’ is an infectious delight. The “woah”’s on ‘It Follows’, the bright keys and the soaring harmonies on ‘Skin’ and the melodic punk bounce on ‘The Way Back’ are just three examples of Nervus’ musical mite, yet doesn’t distract from the weighty lyrics heard throughout. Their sound is rooted in DIY where every last detail has been executed with care, adding to the records overall cohesiveness.
Despite its downtrodden title, ‘Everything Dies’ shines with optimism and passion. Admittedly, Foster’s words will be the focal point, and rightly so, as her experiences and observations are transparent and upfront. Yet, when combined with a platter of hooks, you’re left with a vitally important album for both Nervus and the UK rock scene.
‘Everything Dies’ by Nervus is released on 9th March on Big Scary Monsters.
Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86)