Showbread
Anorexia Nervosa


3.5
great

Review

by Matt Harrison CONTRIBUTOR (20 Reviews)
March 16th, 2012 | 7 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Showbread deliver an ambitious two disc record that despite having numerous flaws, provide an experience proving that even an album can be greater than the sum of its parts.

You know those experiences that when we look back at them, we smile remembering how much they meant, even if we can’t feel it anymore? With Anorexia Nervosa, we lose that, but we gain something of a different experience.

Anorexia Nervosa is a two-disc collection of songs, one cd titled Anorexia and the other Nervosa, that have the same track names on each cd (with a few variations such as Anorexia having "The Sky [Alpha]" and Nervosa having "The Dirt [Alpha]", etc.). For each cd is a booklet of the story of two girls named Anorexia and Nervosa that is meant to be listened to while reading through the story. To read the story with the music synched, times in the tracks are listed between certain sentences assuring that you don't read ahead as the music clearly plays on what you are reading. The CD Anorexia tells the story of Anorexia who is trying to build a tower to heaven, much like in the tower of Babel story in the Bible. Nervosa on the other hand decided to go the other way by digging a hole as deeply as possible; a metaphor for her own excavation of depravity. Additionally, another plot goes on throughout each cd that involves Anorexia working at a hospital, and Nervosa at a strip club/slaughter house which both provide their own metaphors.

Musically, Showbread have opted for a much darker, more industrial tone on this release than on previous records, which works well for the overall experience as these stories are no upbeat tales. Particularly, songs such as "The Pig (Anorexia)", "The Flies (Nervosa)", and "The Goat (Nervosa)" with their corresponding stories provide some of the creepiest and most intense experiences I have ever had with an album.
While Showbread do effectively pull off some great moments in their song writing, such as with "The Journey (Nervosa)", "The Vulture (Anorexia), "The Flies (Anorexia)", and both of the closing tracks, "The Beginning", they seem to be recycling their ideas due to a lack of creativity more so than simply striving for consistency, which is painfully achieved anyway. Honestly, you won't even be able to distinguish most songs when thinking back on them, and the fact that there are two and sometimes three tracks (if including the Alpha and Omega tracks) that all have the same name, doesn't help.

The real strength on this album, however, is the interweaving of the booklet with the music. Showbread effectively immerses the reader in the emotion of the story while driving the right tone and energy into the background, which for the most part creates a truly complete experience. From the downright terrifying encounter with the pig and the goat, to the melancholy resolution during The Beginning (Anorexia), Showbread makes you really feel what they are trying to express in a way that few albums can make you do. Granted, if you listen to the CDs purely by themselves, the effect is severely reduced as that isn't where they draw their full impact from.

The best thing about Anorexia Nervosa is that no matter how many times I keep coming back to it, I feel the same thing. It’s as if Déj* Vu can manifest itself and not dwindle away over time because everything is there sealed in. Perhaps Showbread foresaw this and got it right after all with including their booklet and story. They provided a picture frame that holds the musical experience there, not letting repeated listens over time change it. Albums hardly come with something outside of what we are hearing. It is usually a one level sensory experience, leaving your mind free to fill in the missing ones. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does expose the listening experience to change and not always in a way that we would like. We all wish we could experience that album in the thrill of how we first did. What Showbread does is they fill the gap with their story by creating another level to their music, and while it certainly has its flaws, at least I can smile knowing that the emotion I felt the first listen through will always be felt that way.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2012


1664 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

First review so please express criticisms and suggestions for improving my writing! Thanks!

Funeralopolis
March 16th 2012


11339 Comments


i don't like the colour of the font

Digging: No Joy - Wait to Pleasure

Eko
March 16th 2012


2119 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great first review, and a tough first to tackle. mirrors my thoughts on this pretty much exactly. the concept of the album(s) is sure interesting, and they pull it off moderately well. pos.

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
March 16th 2012


1664 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks! Yea I felt like my wording was a little awkward trying to describe Anorexia Nervosa.

AmericnZero02
July 9th 2013


3340 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah great job on the review. This is an album that one could explain in a review ad nauseum but I think you did a really good job summarizing & hitting the main points. Man, I haven't listened to these records in too long. I still remember the first time I read/listened to each of these in a darkened room with my desk light on, good times, haha. As for suggestions, you could leave commas inside the quotation marks. "The Vulture," for example. Pretty minor thing though.

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
July 11th 2013


1664 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yea, I learned that comma rule a little while later and just never went back to fix it. I have quite a lot of song quotes in this review haha.

AmericnZero02
July 16th 2013


3340 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha, yeah. No worries man, nice job nonetheless. The Beginning, Flies, and Pig from both albums are still killer. Among a bunch of others.



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