Dec 2011 28

Nero - Welcome RealityNero
Category: Dubstep / Electro
Album: Welcome Reality
Stars: 4
Blurb: Employing a sense of catchiness and creativity not commonly heard in dubstep, UK’s Nero craft a fine album to break from the confines of trendiness.


Every few years, a style of music enjoys a brief period of popularity that permeates virtually every corner of the spectrum in both the mainstream and the underground. Lately, dubstep seems to have been all the rage, with pop and rock acts like Britney Spears and KoRn releasing their own takes on the genre, while an artist like Skrillex dubiously soaks up the accolades with numerous Grammy nominations. Out of the woodwork comes the London duo of Daniel Stephens and Joe Ray, collectively known as Nero. Since the band’s inception in 2004, Nero has been pushing its production sound into the realms of drum & bass, house, and dubstep, releasing a stream of DJ singles and receiving a fair share of radio airplay in the UK. With the release of Welcome Reality, Nero presents an indelible form of dubstep and electro that rises above the standard fare exhibited by most of their contemporaries.

Starting with the oscillating atmospheres of introductory track “2808” leading into the pounding beats, orchestral stutters, and rubbery electro of “Doomsday,” there is an immediate melodic component to Nero’s music that sets the band apart from the aimless loops of wobbling bass lines that dominate much of the genre, more akin to the likes of Daft Punk and Pendulum. The release of the Innocence / Electron single in 2010 offered the first taste of Welcome Reality’s power, as a thoroughly structured series of scathing bass synth and subtle ambient melodies interplay with the ethereally sparse vocals of Alana Watson to create an infectiously danceable yet intelligently arranged track in “Innocence.” Similarly, the twinkling refrains of “My Eyes” along with Watson’s lovely voice and slight hints of guitar accompaniment all add a touch of sweetness and makes for an engaging pop song hidden in the guise of an electrifying dance hit. Other tracks like “Promises” and “Me and You” follow suit with more bombastic flair augmented by organic series of percussion for greater, almost anthemic rock flair, the vocals once again highly melodic and catchy. Finally, the use of layers of sustained guitar lines intertwining with blistering electro on “Departure” brings the album to an appropriately epic close.

Nero’s style of dubstep is clearly in a class all its own, containing all the tropes of the genre throughout as can be heard in the extreme bass oscillations and powerful beats of “Me and You” and “Scorpions,” but blended with organic song structures and instrumentation to appeal to a broader range of tastes. As well, there is a healthily light amount of sampling to create new songs such as on “Reaching Out” and the de facto remixes of The Jets and Carmen in “Crush On You” and “Must be the Feeling” respectively, adding to the dynamism of Nero’s music. For all of these qualities, Welcome Reality is a marvel of an album that has the potential to break free from the confines of trendiness, appeal to an audience outside of the standard dubstep crowd, and hopefully help to revitalize a sense of creativity so sorely lacking in the genre.
Track list:

  1. 2808
  2. Doomsday
  3. My Eyes
  4. Guilt
  5. Fugue State
  6. Me and You
  7. Innocence
  8. In the Way
  9. Scorpions
  10. Crush On You
  11. Must be the Feeling
  12. Reaching Out
  13. Promises
  14. Departure

Nero Website
Nero Facebook
Nero Twitter
Nero SoundCloud
Interscope Records Website
Interscope Records MySpace
Interscope Records Facebook
Interscope Records Twitter
MTA Records Website
MTA Records Facebook
MTA Records Twitter
Cherrytree Records Website
Cherrytree Records Facebook
Cherrytree Records Twitter
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Amazon Vinyl
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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