You’re not slowing down but luckily the light changes green just as you throw the car into second and floor it. The engine responds. You crank the wheel to the right and your tires let out a faint squeal of protest as they grip the turn. Tonight you’re being chased by a gang of evil hit men in a shiny, black SUV. Traffic protectively surrounds the car as you skillfully weave in and out of it on the side streets. There’s no sign of the SUV anymore as you scream down the open road out of town. Music crescendos.
That’s right. You’re Bruce Willis in a ‘90s action movie but more importantly, the gritty and fantastic scene wouldn’t be complete without a steady beat. NERO is there with medium close-up shots of Willis shifting gears, dirt flying from the tires and random gunshots that only result in sparks.
NERO is a British EDM trio (Dan Stephens, Joe Ray and Alana Watson) most famous for their GRAMMY Award-winning collaboration remix of “Promises” with Skrillex here in the states. Stephens and Ray met at age 17 in a fancy music school playing classical guitar and cello by day, and electronic music on their computers at night. Watson joined them shortly after when her vocals were featured on a few early songs. And get this … Stephens and Watson got married in 2015 and are expecting their first child this fall (#RomCom)!
I saw NERO for the first time on April 1 at the Exchange in downtown Los Angeles. (No, this isn’t an April Fool’s joke.) With Watson in tow to sing live, I was excited it wasn’t going to be a regular DJ set. They opened with the fan favorite “Satisfy” to that nostalgic sound of modern car chases and rib cage-rattling booms.
Their look is decidedly future and Watson’s severe blonde hair nails their dystopian feel. Just look at this album cover and tell me you’re not in a Willis film:
Every time I hear NERO in my car I’m immediately transformed to action heroine mode. The familiar sound of a super-produced, early ’90s groove with big, strong feminine rocker vocals … I can’t get enough. Add bass, a little electric flair and you’ve got the perfect sound for a good driving soundtrack (or if you’re trying to loose your tail). Instead of my commute to the office, I imagine dodging bullets and snaking away through the dark alleys out of the city. I’ve got somewhere mysterious to be with dangerous people.
[Featured photo via Exchange LA]
Thanks for reading! If you want more of this kind of stuff, subscribe to my newsletter HERE.