rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. Run Ahead
02. Commiseration
03. Installed
04. Burn Clean
05. Ripe
06. Fickle
07. Round Up
08. Concept
09. What's The Issue
10. Plasticine

John Jarvis doesn't seem to enjoy much downtime. His bass work has graced notable heavy hitters like AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED and PIG DESTROYER, and he's also a part of the scathing black metal project SCOUR that's fronted by Housecore Records' head honcho and PANTERA singer Phil Anselmo. With NEST, Jarvis has been incredibly prolific, having released three albums since 2020, and now, NEST is set to roll out its fourth full-length, "Endeavors", a tasty smorgasbord of post-metal, shoegaze, metalgaze, hardcore punk and metal.

The aforementioned PANTERA and DOWN frontman Phil Anselmo has championed true underground bands for decades, and a recent American PANTERA tour saw him tap Texas' brutal death metal outfit FLESHHOARDER as well as NEST as openers. Jarvis' long running relationship with Anselmo also led to NEST signing with Housecore last year, leading to the ambitious bassist writing, recording, performing and curating "Endeavors" in just one week. The limited time involved in the album's genesis lent itself to the predominantly succinct and streamlined nature of the songs. "Run Ahead", for instance, charges with a hardcore punk drive that's ripe with a metallic edge. It's simple and straightforward in the vein of DISCHARGE. "Round Up", meanwhile, bursts with a burly hardcore battery and savage breakdown that's likely to connect with HATEBREED and RINGWORM fans.

While the bulk of "Endeavors" strikes with immediacy, some songs that are seemingly simplistic on the surface actually involve multiple layers and stylistic shifts that are subtly woven in. "Plasticine" slams hard with stripped down, tough guy metallic hardcore ferocity, but stuttered tempo changes augment the aggressive assault. And all of that is prior to the track's closing, shimmering finale that bridges noise rock and shoegaze.

NEST isn't anything new, but they're instantly captivating because the purpose-driven seamless cross-pollination of subgenres. The interesting moniker was apparently chosen to reference the dichotomy of what nests can be, beautiful homes to aesthetically pleasing creatures on one hand, vile and filthy abodes to rodents and the like on the other. This duality is evident throughout "Endeavors" with the balance and movement between music that's soothing and melodious at points, rough and ugly at others, much like the entirety of the human experience.

Author: Jay H. Gorania
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