Alternative punk outfit Nervus have shared the second track from their brand-new albumTough Crowd, out 27th September on Big Scary Monsters; They Don’t is a tirade on the UK government’s investment in policing, and lead vocalist Em Foster’s own experiences with the police. The band have also announced a string of UK and US dates, including a main support slot at Pup‘s Electric Ballroom show in London, and a stop at The Fest in Gainesville, USA.
Talking about the new track, Foster says: “It’s about the function of police as social control and protection of property and wealth rather than their purported function of actually keeping communities safe. This money could be going into community projects, youth work, adequate mental health services and education. It’s clear our government values profit over people, and we reject that.”
The track is accompanied by a companion zine called They Don’t Keep You Safe which is being issued “to highlight injustice and directly rebuke the claims of Boris Johnson that increasing numbers of police keeps society safer.”
Nervus have never shied away from exploring complex issues within their unique breed of punk music. Themes of gender dysphoria, identity and queerness ran rife through first record ‘Permanent Rainbow’, a record written in the bedroom of Foster and serving as a personal catharsis for her. Follow up Everything Dies touched on the human impact on the environment, a colossal subject that the band have since delved into even deeper on new album Tough Crowd, with They Don’t tearing into Boris Johnson’s pledge to invest in policing rather than in community services.
Foster continues: “They Don’t is written about my experiences with police and how individuals’ experience with police is generally defined by their identity rather than their actions. It also has a bit of The Bill theme tune in it and was inspired by that Bugsy Malone song “we could have been anything that we wanted to be”.”
Lyrically, Tough Crowd tackles fascism, austerity and the authorities, whilst at the same time touching on personal matters such as depression and disillusionment, both as a result of these things and in isolation to them.
Having spent ten days together as a band at The Ranch in Southampton, steered by Neil Kennedy (Milk Teeth, Creeper), Nervus stepped away from their lo-fi, self-produced bedroom recordings, and came into their own, together. As a result, Tough Crowd is their most ferocious yet joyful offering to date; as biting as it is inviting.
Since Everything Dies the Watford indie-punks have spent their time touring the UK and Europe with Worriers, Anti Flag, Koji, Fresh and labelmates Cultdreams. Further dates are being scheduled in support of Tough Crowd, including a run of US tour dates. Full list of dates announced so far below.