Rat Race

Maybe you remember The Poacher Diaries, that Converge/Agoraphobic Nosebleed split from 1999. Both bands brought forth what I felt (and still feel) their strongest material, relentlessly heavy as fuck, albeit very different approaches to noisy metal. Converge brought the pain with their carefully constructed, technically proficient take on the genre, while Agoraphobic Nosebleed went their usual rout of short and sweet ear-fuckers with a more reckless vibe, yet never seeming out of control.

So what would you get if you combined both of those vibes from that brilliant split from nearly 20 years ago? Maybe something like Rat Race, the latest album from Nesh. To be completely honest, I was completely unaware of these guys before stumbling across their latest record on Bandcamp, and thirty seconds in I knew I was listening to something special. Not quite metal, not quite hardcore, not exactly thrash or noisecore, I’m not sure where to categorize this band. To hell with genres — I’ll just emphasize that this band is a juggernaut of abrasive noise and energy, and I’m gleefully on board for whatever they have in store for the future.

Lasting at just under 8 minutes in total, my only “complaint” is that the album isn’t longer. But that’s not really even worth mulling over. Each song is around a minute long, as the band gets in and gets out, quickly altering your state of consciousness to a pleasurable berzerker mode that I haven’t felt in quite a while, at least not quite like this.

My favorite track is “Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery” which opens up with a blitzing guitar and drum section and gritty distorted vocals, quickly maneuvering to as powerful of a breakdown as you’ll ever hear. I strongly recommend Rat Race from start to finish, and am easily able to proclaim it as my favorite heavy album out of Louisville from 2018.

Listen to Rat Race below via Bandcamp — the album is also streaming on Spotify.

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