Review: Nestor – Kids In A Ghost Town
Black Diamond Music (October 22nd 2021)
Reviewer: Jason Hopper
There has been quite a buzz about the band Nestor ever since they released their debut single ‘On The Run’ back in March. Two more singles followed and people on various social media boards were declaring this release the Album of the Year. I thought that to be a ridiculous assumption…until I listened to ‘Kids In A Ghost Town’ and realized they were right. This is a sure fire contender for Album of the Year.
This album plays like a greatest hits collection from a band you never heard of before. There are so many great tracks that the result is nearly half of the album has what I consider to be favorite songs. Usually I can pick out one or two favorites amongst albums I love, but I had difficulty identifying only one or two. The first single ‘On The Run’ is very representative of the overall vibe of the album and made me instantly want to listen to more when I first heard it. I though this would be the best track from the album, but I was wrong. The FM inspired track ’Stone Cold Eyes’ and the heavy and fast ‘Firesign’ would take the top spot for best sing along choruses, if it were not for ‘Perfect 10 (Eyes Like Demi Moore)’. I have listened to this song over 20 times just today. I can’t stop playing it. Once you hear those striking keys in the chorus, it will immediately hook you. My only quip is the song could have been 20-30 seconds longer. Easily one of my Top 5 songs for this year.
The album leans HARD on the 80s nostalgia. They even got Samantha Fox to co-sing the ballad ‘Tomorrow’ and she does an admirable job. There’s an interlude where a voice on a radio discusses a viral outbreak before someone flips the station to hear the song ’1989’, turning back the clock, so to speak. There’s the aforementioned ‘Perfect 10’ that references Demi Moore and Sharon Stone. This album was meticulously designed to make you feel like this was a lost album recently discovered in some underground vault.
Of special note is the production, which is sonically exceptional. Some people I know would say the album is overproduced, but I would wholeheartedly disagree. Overproduction can take a rock band with great songs and reduce the impact of their heaviness. A perfect example is the Def Leppard album ‘Adrenalize’, strong songs that were let down by a production that reduced the power of the band, making them sound more pop than rock. I don’t feel that happens here. There are certainly a lot of effects added to the mix, but Nestor still packs a punch. The drums are heavy, the cymbals crash with the right amount of crispness, the guitars still shred, and not one instrument overtakes another.
There is one small issue with the flow of the album. The album rocks hard but slows for the ballad ‘Tomorrow’. That song is immediately followed by the similar-themed but slightly darker track ‘We Are Not Ok’, a song about the beginning of the end of a relationship. It’s a great song, with a Def Leppard ‘Love Bites’ feel, but these two songs back to back slow the momentum of the album. A rocker should have separated these tracks.
That’s a small complaint for an otherwise extraordinary album. I wish I could tell you more about the players on the album, but it was streamed without a press release *. The last time I was blown away by an album like this was H.E.A.T’s ‘II’ album, which came out last year. That was my album of the year and I feel this will follow suit. If you are looking for fun, catchy choruses surrounded by heavy hook laden melodies, this album has that in spades. I am a sucker for melodies like this, the kind that were cranked out by so many 80s bands that defined the Hair Metal/AOR genre. Take a bow boys, you just created an album that will be talked about by lovers of this genre for years to come.