Review: Nestor – Kids In A Ghost Town (Re-Release)
Napalm Records (September 30th, 2022)
Reviewer: Jason Hopper
Earlier this year, the band Nestor signed with Napalm Records for a re-release of their debut album ‘Kids in a Ghost Town’ with three additional bonus tracks. I was fortunate enough last year to review the album that I stated would “Be talked about by lovers of this genre for years to come” (Review here). It was in my Top 3 albums of 2021 and remains an album I return to regularly. This is a follow-up to my review to discuss the additional tracks.
Do the three tracks add or detract from the original release? Was there really any doubt? The three new songs stand alongside the originals and make a superior release just that much more special. Of the three, I was surprised to find my favorite track was not an original composition.
Nestor made the bold decision to record the Whitney Houston classic ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’. Many bands fail at effective cover songs when they hue too closely to the original, making essentially a carbon copy that adds nothing but pointless filler to an album. Nestor does not fall into this trap and I love what they did with this song, revamping it and making it their own. First, singer Tobias Gustavsson makes the smart decision to not even attempt to match Whitney’s range. The band slows the tempo ever so slightly and (I believe) a half step down in the keys. Rather than a fun, pop ditty we are treated to a track with more emotion and a sense of longing, even desperation. They also change the accents, opening the chorus with “I” rather than Whitney’s “Ohhhh….”. That change adds to the yearning conveyed. All these elements make this one of the best covers I’ve heard in years.
‘Signed In Blood’ has been out for months now so fans of the band have had ample opportunity to check the song out. It’s as solid as any of the previously released tracks but I think I prefer the other new track slightly over this one. It could be because I have been listening to the single for months, but ‘A Losing Game’ has more guitar action from Jonny Wemmenstedt in the chorus and his riffing gives it a slight edge over ‘Signed In Blood’. Both tracks contain those incredible harmonies that make the band stand head and shoulders above others, incredible considering they were an unknown entity just two years ago.
If you have the album and love it, then you absolutely need these tracks. Buy the songs or do like I did and buy another copy on CD (I preordered mine with a T-shirt bundle from the record company). I am glad to see that they are signed to a label that does not traditionally support melodic hard rock. It shows that this label knows the value of this band and will support them with their next release. That promotion will hopefully tell the world what we’ve known for the past year, this band is a force to be reckoned with. It’s time to remind people of what real rock used to sound like and pass the torch to the next generation of fans. If a band can keep the genre going, it’s certainly this one.