Nero - Welcome Reality
In this age of immediacy, it's rather unusual for a band to have released four singles before an album in fear of everyone jumping on the next big thing that seemingly comes along every week. Nero have done exactly that though and after impressing us highly, it's pleasing to report that Welcome Reality is an absolute belter of a debut. Fusing dubstep with a host of other genres, most frequently rock but with the likes of even funk making an appearance in the irresistibly retro 'Crush On You', the production duo have crafted an album that has a broader appeal than you'd expect from dubstep. There are still the big defiantly dubstep moments, opener '2808' melds into the massive 'Doomsday' which impresses for its scale alone, but when the duo bring in regular vocalist Alana Watson, the album takes on a different life entirely. Recent single 'Promises' is a dance rock/dubstep behemoth, 'Fugue State' starts with almost a minute of brutal stuttering synths resulting in a track that is essentially the epic B-side that Basement Jaxx never made, and 'Must Be The Feeling' is an oddly perky dance number in among all the dramatics. Perhaps the biggest credit you can give Nero is that Welcome Reality never feels anywhere close to its hour-long running time with its constant high tempo remaining fresh rather than becoming tired. Dubstep lover or not, Nero deserve your attention.