Showbread - Nervosa
Record Label: Tooth & Nail Records
Release Date: May 13, 2008
"Your wings are holding up the sky
Dear God, I dreamt that I could fly"
Nervosa, the second disc of Showbread’s double-album opus, is the harder of the two children of Dies’ complicated mind with a pace only broken up a few times throughout the album. Nervosa is different from Anorexia with less of an electronica feel than its sister, as well as a similar story to complement the music, this time about a girl burying into the ground. Nervosa culminates the return of Showbread’s special “raw rock,” a sound many fans have missed since No Sir, Nihilism is Not Practical.
Josh Giddens begins the album with some of the coolest keytair sounds ever on “The Journey,” a song which truly showcases the ex-band member’s skills. His instrument seems ever-present on this album, an absolute highlight on songs like “The Journey” and “The Dirt.” “The Pig” is the hardest song on the album, but it’s also a varied song slowing down to a creepy bridge and culminating in a raw rock explosion. Nervosa also has a great instrumental in “The Flies,” a scary little song that truly seems to showcase the story, following the action in the story and allowing the individual to truly picture Nervosa’s struggles. “The Dirt (Omega)” is Nervosa’s “The Missing Wife,” and in a similar vein, is an intermission between the harder halves of the album.
Like Anorexia, this album has a story. A story about a girl trying to fill her life with something and meeting characters that tempt her in different ways. This is a very similar story to Anorexia, ending with the Lamb digging her out of the ground after she seemingly dies and taking her to a better place. Nervosa is ashamed, but the Lamb softly says, “Do not shy away, I long to be near you” (page 11). Both stories are very beautiful, but I feel the last song in Nervosa finishes the double album set so beautifully, both musically and thematically. Reese Roper (Five Iron Frenzy, Brave Saint Return) returns to help Showbread as with “Mathias Replaces Judas” to write a song that seems almost out of place. However, with Anorexia Nervosa I feel it fits in very well. This song, “The Beginning,” is one of the prettiest songs I have ever heard, a sweeping conclusion that is a full seven and a half minutes long. Roper carries the song with strong vocals, and Dies compliments well, reading the story and singing the softer parts. The drums are perfectly executed, the guitars crunching and the lyrics so great, borrowing some from a hymn entitled, “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross.” But Reese Roper adds some heart wrenching lyrics of his own:
“I am the worst of all things here
My crooked, black, and lying heart still spits its bitter fear
And each and every sparrow
They flutter to the ground before they die
So please God don't forget me”
Nervosa is not to be downloaded, copied or borrowed. This album, like Anorexia, is to be bought, so that one can read the story that follows the music and spend some time with it, getting the full experience. If one wants to only buy one and is looking for No Sir, Nihilism Is Not Practical carried to another level, Nervosa is that album, a return to the formula that drew Showbread so much attention in the debut. Together, Anorexia Nervosa are some of the best hardcore releases this year, maybe some of the best albums. Raw rock has returned.
These are some of my favorite albums of this year! If you actually read the stories along with the music....they are incredible. Even if you're not a Christian, they can bring tears to your eyes...most likely. Who cares if they are weird...they are different...which is better than most of the crap music being made these days. Anyways...RAW ROCK forever!!
I love The Beginning at the end of this record.
And I love the unique nature of both these CDs. Come on, you've got to give them credit instead of rehashing the latest popular trends. I applaud them for that.