The revival of styles which last saw prevalence in the late nineties continues apace, this time in the shape of Glasgow based Nu-Tech-Hoppers Neshiima presenting their truly extended EP, Beware Of Gifts. They offer a square jawed but still undeniably Techy approach to the Rap-Metal conundrum and for the most part succeed in producing songs that are both entertaining and energising.

Much like most of the music produced at the height of the Nu-Metal craze, Neshiima operate within a fairly limited selection of tempi. This bolsters their sound with a reliable cardiac pulse, which I imagine is tremendously effective in a live setting, but can seem a little stultifying on record. However I must qualify this by declaring that the quality of riffs and arrangements more than makes up for any tempo based criticisms.

Especially effective are the melodies employed on the verses, which for some reason I found much more compelling than their choral counterparts. Since I am usually such a sucker for choruses, this is an unusual situation in which to find myself. But Neshiima have a propensity for driving verse construction which will be the envy of many serious musicians.

There are many high quality vocalists in the world, yet only a small number of them can comfortably cope with multiple styles whilst maintaining a pervasive charisma within all of them. Liam Hesslewood’s performance on Beware of Gifts puts him among this select group. Even surpassing this accolade by rapping so naturally that it will make you wonder how it ever fell out of favour amongst the metal fraternity.

Neshiima are at their most effective when forcing the issue with syncopated phrases which clamour for attention. But one of my few criticisms would be that moments suffuse with this quality, while common in the first few tracks peter out as the EP progresses. Indeed at 8 tracks, while it is fantastic value for money, this is a long EP, which without the unifying aesthetic of an album, occasionally seems to lose the vector of its momentum.

But it has groove, swagger, confidence and enough personality to prevent them being swallowed up by homogenic and ravenous sub-genres.

As a statement off intent this EP is very impressive. It showcases a flair for both riffage and subtle composition that belies significant thought behind the music. With their Killing Joke meets CKY meets HED(pe) vibe they have the ability to gather fans from varied domains, so while they may not be the finished article just yet, the future looks bright for Neshiima.

– John Whitmore


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