Nervosas occupies a space between hardcore punk and post-punk. It’s a space that is getting filled in with a lot of bands recently, and Nervosas seems to be leading that pack. Their newest self-titled album is a perfect example of when a band spends years crafting and perfecting their sound, and then releases something that features all the best they have to offer. This is their strongest and most cohesive release to date, and may be the perfect representation of this rising dark punk subgenre.
Things get off to a quick start with “Moral Panic.” This one is a rager with urgent vocals, tight, fast drums, and guitar that switches effortlessly between power chords and riffs. No other songs quite hit the speed and ferocity of this first one, but they come close, like on “Temporary Address,” and “Refinery.” When they are not going full throttle, the band keeps things mid-tempo and lets the tone they create shine through.
The tone of the songs, and of the album as a whole, is just as important as the content of the songs themselves. The guitar is somehow bright and dark at the same time. Chorus and reverb effects give it a shimmer, but distortion and minor and diminished chords dull that shimmer enough to keep everything nice and dark. It’s like a beefed up version of an 80’s post-punk bands’ sound. The drums are tight throughout and the bass is dark and punchy as well. All of this is behind spooky male lead vocals and backup female vocals that mix very well.
Nervosas also shakes things up in a few tracks to keep things from getting stale. “The Well” is danceable with its syncopated guitar and bouncy drums. The closing track “Quarantine” serves as a cool down from the madness the band has taken you through so far. It’s a slower jam where the guitar is more spacey and the vocals are crooned.
Nervosas is actually the second self-titled album released by the band. The first one was kind of a compilation of everything they’d done up until that point. And while I love that record, it sometimes can come across as sounding like a collection of songs rather than a cohesive album. This newest self-titled release doesn’t come across that way, flowing smoothly from beginning to end. The only problem with that is it’s easy to get caught up in it, only to have it end much too soon.