CD Review

Nerve Exhibit – “The Horror of Amusement”

By Marcus Pan

The Horror of AmusementThe Horror of Amusement contains some of the better arranged music I've come across for a debut release. Released in May, 2004 (and admittedly I'm late due to some wonderfully orchestrated postal debacles), this is the outfit's first release besides appearances on compilations such as Strange as Angels (tribute to The Cure), Revolution Vol. 1 and New National Anthem. It's unusual to find a band put out a well orchestrated collection as a debut – that kind of confidence and talent usually doesn't rear its head until later in a band's career.

At first spin, Nerve Exhibit may seem quite simple. But as you listen you realize just how well placed and smoothly arranged the electronics are, such as the strong bass loop of the opening Sky Ripped Blue. Simple, at first, but with the added sliding electronics and the complicated rhythmic pulses that break through, what was once simple becomes complicated and more interesting. Vocals are vox-laced, which applies nicely against the clean musical arrangement and synthesizer work.

New Order fans will drop a load with Taste for Futility. A poppy, star-striking piece with electro-pulse synthetics anchored by a simple but effective back beat. This, again, is a cleaner track against which metallic vox are pressed up against creating an interesting juxtaposition with the music – clean, poppy rhythms and keys raped lovingly by a harsh vocal arrangement.

Warmth is the only miss of the album. Here, Nerve Exhibit continue their simple style, but without the vocals, as this is an instrumental piece. There simply isn't enough meat on the bones of the music to create anything more than a droll feel. For those that like dark ambient work, this is perfect. And while I've been known to enjoy same, stuck in between moving pieces like Taste For Futility and The Blue Below it looses it's appeal. Maybe it might have been better as a short instrumental break since it does segue nicely into The Blue Below, rather than being a full length track in its own right.

It will be very interesting to see what Nerve Exhibit can provide in the future as the band further matures. After all – if they're producing such quality with their debut release, their sophomore release will hopefully be that much more.

Contact Information:
Nerve Exhibit
Post: 1845 Salem Ct., Gurnee, IL, 60031, USA
Phone: (847) 970-2094