By the time a band gets to its fourth album, said band will either have truly hit its stride or, alternatively, will have run out of things to say so it was with some trepidation that “Fake” from Stuttgart’s Die Nerven was placed in the CD player of love.
“Fake” turned out to be a rather bleak album yet it was also clearly an album with depth and a sense of purpose. That purpose may be lost to English speakers as all the songs are in German but, in truth, the language is not that much of a barrier as Die Nerven have managed to generate an atmosphere that suggests escaping from sort of oppression, much as George Orwell once did with only words. That doesn’t, however, make the album a depressing experience for Die Nerven are also given to theatricality and, along with their undeniable musical ability, they twist what could have been downbeat arty alt-rock into something greater that soon captures your attention as they genre hop from the near indie rock “Neue Wellen” through the European style math rock of “Dunst” to the manic “Skandinavisches Design” and onwards to melancholy beauty of “Fake” itself.
When all is said and done, “Fake” is an album with dark secrets at its heart and Die Nerven, to their credit, are not afraid to shine the spotlight on them. As with all albums of depth, you will likely need that second listen to make sense of it (along with a German dictionary for those lyrics). I reckon that makes “Fake” an album worthy of your attention.