It's been a couple of years now since the introspective 'Falling Down' album was released to very high praise, which was followed up by tons of touring all over the UK. During his time away, he's been producing a fair bit and also released the limited edition 7" 'Keep It Live' under his alias Billy Brimstone. That track hinted at a less under the weather era in the Huddersfield artist's career and the new eight track album 'Nuke Proof Suit' certainly confirms that.
The new material's lyrics are far less personal and wrapped up in emotion, whilst the beats aren't quite as grey. Other differences include guest features, of which there are only two, and the roll call of producers, which is actually just one name long, Jehst taking care of every beat. The vibe of the whole LP seems more suited for live performances than bedroom plays, with most of the songs containing choruses which are likely to set up many crowd participation routines. Although little song content refers to it, the album runs with the concept of its title, with a couple of short interludes here and there providing the toxic theme, along with the blinding CD case.
'Work Ethic' is probably the most conventional Jehst track on the album, with a very enjoyable but quite typical style of beat and verse, in which the emcee sticks to the topic that the title suggests. Earlier tracks are more abstract and on the most part built up of quality and well rapped lines but which are fairly random up against one another, not explicitly exploring anything.
The vocals of 'Vice City' are quite layered and the end effect wont be everybody's taste. On the quality head nodding 'Ape Shit' Jehst is on fine form with some great moments in the flow which is executed with ease over a very impressive beat with a fantastic chime sound scattered throughout. The title track sounds great on a loud system thanks to its deep base line. The computerised background vocals suit the mood and the chorus is really catchy. 'Neck Breakin' is pretty busy on the beat side of things, with a high pitched sound in the loop which might bug people a little. There's quite long pauses in between the lines which might also attract people to the skip button.
'Magnun Force' uses a funky sample and hears Jehst coming hard with his usual style which doesn't undergo any layering or vocal treatment. 'Pepper Spray' features Kashmere and Sir Smurf Lil'. It smartly uses the spooky laughing on MJ's 'Thriller' and provides another decent head nodding work out. Both guest spots do more than enough to merit checking our their own material. 'Hydroblowback' has a chilled and enjoyable hook which is chanted, whilst the verses are rapped in a near singing manner.
This project will without doubt be appreciated by the big Jehst following although it's hard to say if it will win over many new fans. What is for certain is that Jehst hasn't taken the easy route of doing a 'Falling Down' part two and has artistically attempted to create something different to the expected which can't be anything but a good thing. It's comforting to hear a varied set of beats, considering he's doing more production work for other rappers of late, and much of the trademark Jehst wordplay and flow holds a presence throughout the collection of tracks.