NAILS – You Will Never Be One of Us
OUT: 17th June, 2016
NAILS Line Up:
Todd Jones | vocals, guitars
John Gianelli | bass
Taylor Young | drums
I remember hearing Napalm Death for the first time. It was 1990, and I was watching some late night music videos and the track, ‘Suffer the Children’ hit the screen by the grindcore legends from album Harmony Corruption. It was intense. It was fast, the vocals were a hypnotic guttural growl, and the drumming was intense. I’d heard of Napalm before but didn’t dare delve into their realms. I was still stuck on Metallica, Iron Maiden and the like. Once the Napalm Death track hit the screen though, if you’ve ever been ‘sucker punched’ from behind – you’ll know the feeling.
26 years on I was handed an album to review. A Californian three-piece band, that, again I’d heard of, but had yet to encounter. The band is Nails. It’s everything Napalm Death were to me, a long time ago, but more. This band is extreme. They breathe vehement. From front man and guitarist, Todd Jones’ aggressive vocals to his manic guitar riffs to John Gianelli’s pummelling bass lines to the frenetic nature of Taylor Young’s savage drumming. Mark my words, Nails will be a force to many fans – just the way, Napalm Death was to so many way back in the early ‘90s.
Nails do not fuck around either. The 10 song album, their third full length album (I’m late to the party, sorry!) is packed with as much venom, disdain and power as I’ve ever heard, and they play ferociously. 9 of the 10 songs equate to 15 minutes before culminating in an epic 8+ minute track, ‘They Come Crawling Back’.
To describe Nails as similar to Napalm Death would be remiss however. Whilst similar traits exist between Napalm and Nails, the Cali three piece are, dare I say it, even more powerful. It’s early Napalm Death meets punk Slayer. There is a groove, such as, ‘Life is a Death Sentence’ and the brutal self-titled track, but it’s a groove not many will be able to keep up with. It’s different. I feel sorry for the people in the pit at these shows already.
Whilst all the tracks on this album are fierce, there is some subtle deviation to be found, such as ‘Violence is Forever’ which explodes out of the blocks but slows down in the latter half of the track as a slow burn riff engulfs. It works well and allows the listener a small chance to catch breath. As stated, the album concludes with ‘They Come Crawling Back’, a mass change from the rest of the record, with the last few minutes trailing off into a wailing trail of disdain.
No wonder legendary Soulfly front man, Max Cavalera loves this band. Nuclear Blast are on a winner here. Simply one of the heaviest, forceful, violent albums I’ve heard in a long while. Produced by Converge guitarist, Kurt Ballou, you know what you’re getting on this album once he is involved. Blunt. Force. Trauma.
9 bloodied hammers out of 10
- You Will Never Be One Of Us 1:29
- Friend To All 0:45
- Made To Make You Fall 0:55
- Life Is A Death Sentence 1:39
- Violence Is Forever 3:26
- Savage Intolerance 1:46
- In Pain 1:01
- Parasite 0:55
- Into Quietus 1:33
- They Come Crawling Back 8:14