'Tough Crowd' is Nervus' most dynamic effort to date and tackles socio-political topics head-on. Given the current shit show Britain (and everywhere else for that matter) is facing at the moment, 'Tough Crowd' offers a sense of relief. It's not so much a comfort blanket, however, but instead a mammoth protest sign, and it doesn't care who it offends in the process.
Em Foster and her crew face the personal on opener 'Flies', which is a gutsy indie punk track tackling depression, and later on the irresistible 'Fake' which rages and whirrs, riddled with anxiety. 'They Don't' serves as a true a glowing moment on the record, with its scathing and sarcastic commentary on the police and hypocrisy within it. Despite the mucky topics being addressed here, the instrumentation remains mostly cheery, with dual vocals adding a spirited element amongst the wreckage.
Some parts on 'Tough Crowd' come off as maybe a bit too literal, but that doesn't really matter when you know this band don't give a fuck about what anyone else thinks. The beautiful but tragic 'Where'd You Go' (which oozes elements of 80s indie nostalgia), is a perfect way to end an album that has so much to say about the social and environmental damage done to our society, delivering with unapologetic wit.