With Nero‘s new single Promises looking like it will hit the #1 spot on Sunday afternoon, the dynamic duo of Daniel Stephens and Joe Ray have made the country sit up and take notice of their unique brand of electronic music. Some may suggest that Promises will be the first “dubstep” #1 in the UK; I’m not here to argue that point but it’s hard to deny that this is another significant milestone for electronic music.
The fact that Nero are about to do something that their mentors/bosses Chase & Status so far have not managed says a lot about their talent and future potential, but is that reflected in their debut album Welcome Reality? Yes and no.
“The album’s set in the ficitional year of 2808,” offered Stephens. “I personally hear this as a post-apocalyptic world trying to rebuild itself.”
On one hand it’s a nice concept they have going here, which is reflected well on opening tracks 2808 and Doomsday, but delve a little deeper and it all starts to run out of steam. Granted the album is dark and brooding from start to finish, but the boys are obviously torn between maintaining the concept and appealing to the mainstream with tracks such as Guilt and Innocence.
A perfect example of this is their bass-heavy makeover of The Jets’ Crush On You. It may be a brilliant track, but does it fit in with the post-apocalyptic theme they are striving for? No, not really.
Welcome Reality is a project that thrives on energy and doesn’t lack ambition, but I believe they could have produced a better debut effort without the concept constantly looming over them. I’m not saying that the album isn’t enjoyable, I just firmly believe they could have done more if they hadn’t put any restrictions on themselves.
Regardless, it’s definitely worth the £3.99 that Amazon are charging for it next week.
Stand-Out Track: Must Be The Feeling – A track that sounds like it should be featuring on Justice’s sophomore effort Audio, Video, Disco.