It’s been a busy year for Watford indie punks Nervus.
While spending their time touring the UK and Europe with worriers, anti-flag, koji and labelmates cultdreams - they’ve also been writing and recording their new record Tough Crowd.
Where once, songwriter-in-chief Em Foster (vocals/guitar) furiously wrote and recorded songs in her bedroom, as a type of personal catharsis, looking at the personal, and then the immediate politics of identity, gender and queerness - this third album took a different journey, using a whole new collaborative process and approach.
As a result, this their third record, speaks differently to their older work.
Spending ten days away together at the ranch in Southampton and steered by Neil Kennedy (milk teeth, creeper) they stepped away from their signature self-recording, and really came into their own, together. the results are there for all to hear.
Tough Crowd is ferocious, joyful, and as biting as it is inviting. It’s Nervus, but sounds like if crass had helped write Pinkerton. Thematically, the record still doesn’t shy away from the important issues of the day.
Em explains; “I guess the theme is political - it’s very much focused on the here and now and the situations we find ourselves in with austerity, the rise of fascism in Europe and the increasing divisions and tensions in society that those cause.”
Where the previous record everything dies touched lightly on the issues of the human impact on the environment, consumerism and destruction, the new album digs deeper on these, tearing into the devastation that humanity is wreaking on the planet, both environmentally and socially.
But while these political and destructive themes are present, Tough Crowd is also an album full of hope. Em muses: “I want people to feel joyful but I also want people to feel angry. I want people to stop underestimating their ability to effect change.”