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Album Review: Permanent Rainbow by Nervus

Watford Indie-punk rock band Nervus release their new album Permanent Rainbow on 4th November via Venn Records. Imagine an amalgamation of Alkaline Trio and Into It Over It and you’ll be on the right track. Overall you’ll find Permanent Rainbow to be an infectious yet dark record.

On the surface it’s an upbeat album with a punk spike, rub the surface a little and you’ll find an album that’s wrought with emotion, dealing with addiction and gender identity issues. Note opener ‘Oh Joy’ as singer/guitarist Em says, “It’s about my relationship with alcohol and addiction, and how you just end up replacing addictions with other ones until you get to the real root cause of the problem. I was listening to a lot of Alanis Morissette at the time, and tried to channel some ‘You Oughtta Know’ with this because there is nothing more hairbrush-microphone righteous than a scathing break-up tune.”

Image result for nervus permanent rainbow

Over the introspective lyrics you’ll find a musical landscape that turns it all into something positive, you get a sense of hope, something you can connect with and something you can take solace in. It’s a beautiful album, you can’t help but fall in love with the hooks of ‘A Retraction’ and ‘Waves’. They’re both big, emotive tracks that you’ll find yourself getting lost it. The former feels particularly personal, while the latter suckers you in with the infectious chorus and delightful guitar work.

There’s enough of a punk edge to counteract the jangly indie moments, resulting in a sound that’s not a million miles away from early Tellison. ‘Spitting Needles’ nods at that Tellison sound before ‘Abandon’ takes that template and stretches it into something more expansive and complex. ‘Glass’ has the air of delightfully easy on the ear indie-punk song – again it’s a case of the music playing the part of the perfect antithesis to the dark lyrics. On the whole it works well, unfortunately here it falls a little flat. There’s a slow start to ‘Think’, and while it takes a while for the track to find it’s groove it does develop into a great track, the acoustic finish is a great touch.

After the small blip normal service is resumed for the final two tracks ‘Bend / Break’ and ‘Stay Away’. The former revels in it chaotic beginning before developing into a well-structured and infectious punk rock song. The latter goes heavy of the emotion and plays its part as album closer perfectly. Permanent Rainbow is a strong and commanding album on the whole, it’s a grower and a sign of big things to come from Nervus.

AD Rating 7/10

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