Nex (Reissue)

Written by: PP on 17/09/2008 15:45:30

Huddersfield, UK based Nex have been riding behind the Lostprophets phenomenon for a couple of years now. They've just released their sophomore album "A Clockwork Heart", but before I'll dive into reviewing that album, I felt it was more appropriate to check out the re-release of the band's 2006 self-titled debut instead. Here I discovered that Nex have more than probable chances of becoming the next Lostprophets from the UK, and here's why.

The album starts off with some strong screams and hard hitting riffs on "Schadenfreue", tricking the listener into thinking this is yet another post-hardcore album focusing on extended screaming and the usuals in the genre. However, it quickly becomes clear this is not the case, as vocalist Ian Wat-*cough*, I mean Ed's clean vocal harmonies kick in. Jokes aside, when he extends those clean vocal passages as seen especially on "Fading", he really sounds almost identical to what Ian Watkins sounded on "Fake Sound Of Progress". In fact, even instrumentally the band are very close to the much loved, since extincted Lostprophets sound, making this a must have for anyone still missing the old Lostprophets sound. What this means essentially, is that the album's made out of catchy melodies, even more melodic choruses, and hints and nuances of the post-hardcore genre without actually being a part of the genre - this is more mainstream rock than it is post-hardcore, if you ask me.

Although on the majority of the tracks the band borrows heavily from the Lostprophets sound, on others, like on the brilliant "Paper Moon", the band actually sounds like a cross between Incubus' heavy tracks on "Morning View" and the aforementioned LP's "Fake Sound Of Progress". And truth be told, on these tracks Nex really shine, combining the best of both bands into a massive, yet still tight orgasmic sound explosion sure to drool the lips of fans of either two bands.

But there are instances where Nex doesn't sound like anyone else, like the gang-shouted "Uncle S.A.M", for example. Part hardcore punk, part post-hardcore, the riffs are quirky as hell and the rhythm changes sudden and unexpected, making this song one of my favorites on the record, even if it took a few extra listens to grow into it.

Unfortunately, the latter half of the album features too many songs that are faceless. They simply lack the same melodic-factor as the first half, be it the choruses not being catchy enough or the verses failing to build up to the choruses. This is also why I can't name any of the songs from the top of my head while writing this.

Overall though, "Nex" is a fine debut album focusing on a sound that most of us haven't heard played anywhere for over half a decade. As such, it comes across as a refreshing treat to us new Nex listeners. Meanwhile, the old fans can look forward to the eight bonus acoustics tracks that weren't on the original release, but although they are interesting after listening to the real versions, they aren't something I'd put on myself.


Download: Fading, Paper Moon, Uncle S.A.M
For the fans of: Lostprophets, Incubus
Listen: Myspace

Release date 26.09.2008
(Original release date 2006)
Rising Records

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