Album Review: Nightmares For A Week – Civilian War

‘Civilian War’ is a shimmering triumph of a record, and I didn’t want to waste any time in telling you. Nightmares For A Week‘s brand of punk-rock tinged with a decidedly alt-country vibe sounds huge from the first track and doesn’t let up, putting this album in serious contention for my release of the year already.  It swings from care free Friday night drinking tracks to more philosophical takes on life and death, yet sung with a bright and positive approach throughout. It’s a fantastic effort and I’m not surprised by that as 2010’s debut ‘Don’t Die’ took me on a similar journey.

Tracks such as ‘Down In the Streets’ and ‘Dead Men’ aren’t a dramatic departure from previous material but the band’s charismatic vocals, punchy riffs and contagious lyrics are evident throughout.  They’re a great introduction to the band for any new listeners too. ‘We’ll Do Our Worst, Lord’ is perhaps a well worked bridge away from being a leading single. ‘Red Eyes’ picks up from there though with the type of empathic chorus that I’ve come to expect from the band.

<a href=“” data-mce-href=“”>Civilian War by Nightmares for a Week</a>

That’s what I love about Nightmares For A Week, you never have to wait long for a moment of real unbridled euphoria. Just when you think you’ve found the highlight of the album…another track comes along that runs it very close. So with that in mind, up steps ‘The Destroyers’ and the bar is lifted even higher.

The album does have a few quieter moments – notably in ‘Vet’ and ‘Cancer Kills’, which build the atmosphere more than anything. They aren’t as memorable as their equivalents on ‘Don’t Die’ (I’m talking about ‘Our Vessel’ and the title track) and as the album is only ten tracks long it does feel like a missed opportunity here. 

The New York based band are the positive, life affirming, scruffier younger brother to Mumford And Sons. Whilst Marcus Mumford and friends are tugging on the heart strings with their hugely atmospheric ballads, Nightmares For A Week are a few beats quicker and probably a few drinks further into their nights. They leave the same impact on you though.


‘Civilian War’ by Nightmares for a Week is out now on Broken English Records.

Nightmares for a Week links: Facebook|Twitter|Bandcamp

Words by Tom Beck


This website collects cookies to deliver better user experience. Learn more.