With each new release from Showbread, fans can count on somewhat of a different sound than the last time around. Though you can always tell that it's Showbread, it always differs slightly. On Nervosa, the second disc of their new project, some of the elements of Anorexia are incorporated, but it almost serves as a backtrack session. It sounds as if Josh Dies' solo project The Aesthetics of Violence and Showbread's No Sir, Nihilism Is Not Practical got married and their firstborn child is Nervosa.
Nervosa starts off with a bang, with the electronic rocker "The Journey." Throw in a guest spot for Family Force 5 frontman, Soul Glow Activatur, and it makes for one of the album highlights. Another rock out track follows shortly thereafter, titled "The Sky," which utilizes some harmony in the chorus that is quite the nice touch, complementing the screams very nicely. "The Flies," the first of two instrumentals, is pretty mild for about a minute and a half, then frantic screaming from the story's character, Nervosa, breaks in with loud and vicious guitars. After about another minute, the music fades back down into the calm it was before. "The End (Omega)," the second instrumental, keeps itself pretty low key throughout, and only clocks in at about two and half minutes. Ivory makes a second appearance on "The Goat," a classic Showbread raw rock track, which also features an unlikely appearance from Squad 5-O frontman, Jeff Fortson. The album ends on a beautiful note, keeping God's love, mercy and unfathomable forgiveness at the forefront. And most of the song, "The Beginning," is sung by none other than Reese Roper, who has the ability to bring out the passion in the lyrics through his singing. At times it seems somewhat reminiscent of the Five Iron Frenzy favorite "Every New Day," only at a much slower tempo.
As with the Anorexia album, Nervosa is also the soundtrack for a story. This time, the main character is Anorexia's sister, Nervosa. Her story is very similar to Anorexia's, only instead of building a huge tower, Nervosa tries to escape the world by digging a hole. A big, deep hole. The story starts with Nervosa declaring, "To submerge into the depravity of the dirt, surely this is the greatest adventure that there is to know. I will dig a hole in order to tunnel miles into the most sordid core of this horrible planet earth. I will experience the most reckless feats of immorality and know every pleasure that there is to know. This will be my life's work, in my quest I will discover something to make me whole." Again, there is a quite a bit of listening involved in the story, more so than with its counterpart, making it difficult to concentrate on the imagery at times. Nervosa's adventure is similar to her sister's, being attacked by seemingly ordinary animals (a pig, a goat, some flies), and in the end she also discovers the worthlessness of her attempt to reach fulfillment in worldly things. Again, I can't bear to say anything about the ending. It's something you just have to check out for yourself, as it is quite a beautiful ending.
For the on-again-off-again fans of Showbread who left the band at the release of Age of Reptiles, Nervosa can easily be the album that brings them back in again. The sounds of No Sir..., with a little bit of genre progression, could be just what they've been waiting for. For those who wanna go deeper, or the hardcore Showbread fans, or even suckers for special edition packages with some sweet extras (Storm The Gates of Hell anyone?), make sure you pick up the whole shabang (i.e. Anorexia AND Nervosa). You'll kick yourself if you don't.- Review date: 5/7/08, written by Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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