The more I listen to this album, the more I enjoy it all, and the more it invades your mind. It’s easy listening, radio friendly, feel good Indie Rock music. It’s almost like modern day Indie and punk rock from the Naughties had a musical baby. The major tonality throughout the album is very uplifting, and the carefully placed piano melodies and repetitive guitar riffs definitely get stuck in your head. Oh Joy, the opening track, is a great example of this; the opening riff acts as an ostinato throughout the first two thirds of the track, really ingraining it into your brain. The start of the middle section is really promising, it starts to sound like they are broaching into slightly heavier areas, then switching back into the lighter more commercial elements. It’s not a bad thing by any means, but it was almost like I was at the edge of my metaphorical chair waiting for it to fully kick in with this change in direction and not quite getting there. Broaching that tipping point but not quite hitting it.
At first, it did feel like the first few songs of the album didn’t have any major peaks, and were more of steady wave rolling through the ocean. However, Waves really jumped out at me. The guitar melody grabbed me off the hook, and when the vocals came in, the track had hints of a more indie Blink 182. When everything kicked in, it gave that contrast in sections that I felt the first part of the album was slightly lacking in. It started small, it draws you in, it builds up, and then it unleashes a wall of sound around you enveloping you in the track. The chorus did lose me a bit, returning to the more typical indie feel prominent in the first 3 tracks of the album, however it does keep it in that easy listening radio friendly field.
Skipping Needle kicks in straight after Waves, with a more upbeat feel, still staying true to the theme of the album and the bands sound, but with a bit more variety thrown in. The difference in time signature at the start jumped out straight away. Again, there are hints of a Blink 182 feel coming in and Motion City Soundtrack combined with Alkaline Trio.
It’s almost like the whole album is an easy listening indie release, but there are heavier undertones and darker themes trying to break through into the music, and it nearly happens, but doesn’t quite fully get there, the control comes back in, not wanting that other side to come out too much. I’d like to hear what happens if they let that control go and embrace that slightly heavier, darker side in the music. Bend/Break is the closest the album comes to letting go, the middle to end of the song is brilliant, almost like you are losing your mind and everything around you is starting to spin. There was room for more rhythmic development with this to help build it up further, but the track definitely leaves you wanting more.
Bones, the second track on the album, shows a slight hint of this too. The bridge section kicks in with the chromatic piano runs, hinting at a darker side to the music before switching back to the Indie Pop feel.
The Dual layer vocals prominent throughout the album give a very defining characteristic, and the harmonies flow seamlessly throughout defining the bands sound. The guitar work is very careful and considered along with the subtle piano melodies.
All in all this is a great album from Nervus, uplifting and infectious! The more I listen to it, the more it makes me smile.