Single Review: Nero – ‘Promises’

“Not once does the  notion of overproduction outshine the sheer euphoria that spills plentifully from Nero’s fingertips”


Digital Release: August 7, 2011

Physical Release: N/A

Nowadays, when listing the most popular genres of music both receiving heavy rotation on radio and enjoying the augmenting praise that’s commanded from simply being in the UK Top 40, dubstep is a genre only a fool could exclude. Via other subgenres such as the recent dance, techno and house movement and momentary flashes of success for previously underground electronic artists such as The Prodigy, Chase & Status and Pendulum, dubstep is now, on a very commercial level, synonymous with today’s charts. Although, putting it like that makes it seem like it’s birth into mainstream appeal was an easy one, but the truth is not so; there were many failed attempts before the commercial cousin to dubstep’s more feral original background was perfected.

But it was only a matter of time before a combination of the two forms of dubstep made it’s way into the same spotlight it’s more anaemic variation was currently occupying. And Nero, since their début single, a re-invigoration of the old double A-side release strategy with the tracks ‘Innocence’ and ‘Electron’ have shown that they mean business. ‘Me & You’ put them on the map, ‘Guilt’ scored them there first Top 10 hit, and now ‘Promises’ is set to be their biggest hit to date as they tighten their stronghold over the electronic market.

Opening to a galloping stampede of drums and effervescent synth stabs, the song charges from strength to strength with Nero’s vocalist Alana Watson provides cascading vocal melodies adding to the dark undercurrent of urgency as her high-flying, acrobatic vocals plough knee-deep through huge bass tremors accompanying the rest of the production, effortlessly establishing ‘Promises’ one of the best dubstep tracks to receive widespread recognition since the genre was brought into the mainstream.

“You got me so wild/Why should I be so surprised?”, Alana quizzes her listeners and her muse before erupting valiantly into a sky-scraping chorus and an instrumental section for the club-goers. The production is perfect. The vocals are perfect. It’s all finely executed and honed in to the point where it should feel overdone, but not once does the  notion of overproduction outshine the sheer euphoria that spills plentifully from Nero’s fingertips, granted the skills and techniques of their far more experienced cousins Chase & Status, and in receipt of these tools, they use them and whatever they touch seems to develop exponentially in their hands.

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