What do you get when you put two sets of Swedish brothers in a band, two of which grew up in Chicago? No, it’s not some cheesy joke; you actually get an indie pop band called Nervous Nellie. With new album When The Nighmare Gets In set to be released, do the brothers manage to create something to contend with the masses of indie loveliness already out there?
With the album supposedly based on three different chapters based on the bands past and present nightmares and dreams, I suppose you could say it’s a good time to release it in conjunction with the time of year; it makes you think of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and the story of the miserly Scrooge. Whether this was just coincidence or predetermined remains to be seen, but themes of fear, reconciliation and coming through the other end having learned something, all seem to play a part here.
Album opener Beacons is 80s indie for a new generation, sounding like a slowed down Killers track with plenty of soul and purpose. This is carried on with Eaten By Bears, kicking into a dance rhythm with echo-laden vocals and crisp beats. Just before the track gets tiresome it changes things up with an inventive chorus, coming back at you with tightly strung drums and juicy build-ups.
Shoulder borrows heavily from 70s rock melodies, stripping back the sound to work well against tailored and polished harmonies, whereas You’re So Sad picks at a folky country sound that works really well. More focus should have possibly been given to this style as this is where the band is strongest on the record.
The album seems to ebb a bit in the middle, with tracks such as Gloves feeling a bit too bare and lifeless, and not managing to fuse sounds as well as they have on other tracks. Thankfully however, the band does manage to pick it up again on the closing tracks. The Violence is indie-pop by numbers, but really effective and strong lyrically, whereas No Sound is a decent album closer that’s sums up the record nicely.
With a bit of tightening up and a more coherent sound the album could fly high, not that its bad, just a little loose. There are many strong points on the record, and it goes to show that the band have a bright future if they can work their music into an overall whole.