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Album Reviews : Nails – You Will Never Be One Of Us

By on September 6, 2016

Nails-You-Will-Never-Be-One-Of-Us-ArtworkA tremendous year indeed, it has been for music in general, especially the heavier kind and one of the contenders for ‘album of the year that will shatter your skull’ is undeniably California’s grindcore band Nails. I think it to be quite an injustice to stop at just ‘grindcore’ when it comes to this band, who clearly and rather firmly believe reducing your eardrums to a gnarly, pounding mess, defying all labels of all kinds. Formed not so long ago in 2009, this intense trio began to turn heads, and became well-known alongside other bands in a similar vein that combined the aggressive sounds of bands like The Armed and Converge with heavy, raw riffage.  Nails embrace an edgy soundscape which pays ode to your classic grindcore style but with a few twists here and there and this is the perfect description of their latest offering You Will Never Be One Of Us.

Right from the get-go, the band make it extremely clear that being merciless on your sense of hearing is priority.  What begins with  an eerie collection of voices (featuring members of Baroness, Converge and Neurosis) repeating the title  instantly takes a detour, exploding into a fierce powerhouse of  hectic vocals and riffage that will tear you to shreds. Fat chugging bass lines that will set those windmills in motion, “sucked in” Todd screams, and he isn’t kidding. Setting the pace for the rest of the album, song #1 ends abruptly and leads straight into the relentless barrage of blasts of ‘Friend to All‘ that viciously attack your senses but suddenly drop down to a weirdly relaxing tempo and effortlessly blending into ‘Made to Make you Fall‘ which starts to show signs of experimentation that Nails have indulged in. It took me a few listens to process the abnormally short tracks because once I figured out I was listening to a new song, the next one starts. They don’t give you a second to breathe in the first half. There’s plenty going on and something for everyone as they include elements in their music that make it a rather addictive listen, also distracting you so you don’t end up chucking your bed out the window 20 seconds in.

Life is a Death Sentence‘ keeps the insanity going at supersonic speeds with corrosive vocals and the drums hammering your skull in proving to be an absolutely brutal track at first that switches pace mid way once again and its this sudden, violent unpredictability that proves the musical ingenuity of the band.  ‘Violence is Forever‘ is a very apt name with it;s almost cacophonous, raging atmosphere and shifts in tempos.  Nails also exhibit their appreciation for death metal, with tracks like ‘Into Quietus‘ and ‘Savage Intolerance‘ that are groove-laden, fierce and moshpit-inducing. However, the final track is one of the most appealing on the entire album. ‘They Come Crawling Back‘ is a stunner, and an aural assault of epic proportions. It is the darkest, most emotive and versatile track of the entire album which kicks up a storm literally courtesy of that insane double bass pummeling before it  steps into the realms of sludgy doom metal towards the end. With this track, the band make clear that there are no boundaries when it comes to their music inculcating an array of sounds that will keep you hooked throughout the 8-minute (longest track on the album) masterpiece.

For an album that is just about 20 minutes long, there is so much you discover with each listen. It packs in a heavy punch, boasts a crushing sound and production, delivering a proper in-your-face vibe throughout. The instrumentation, sound dynamic and chemistry within the band are strongly evident in every track as is their will to  express themselves, not cater to the masses, their honesty spewing forth from all directions in the form of this album. While maintaining their signature grindcore style, the hit the Nail (s) (I had to) on the head with all the little surprises along the way that will probably sweep you off your feet and chuck you hard against a wall.

About

Prarthana is a vegan, Indo-Aussie, heavy music addict, fluent in sarcasm and metal. Traveling is an obsession as she enjoys taking in the history of various countries and following her favorite bands. She's either eating, teaching grammar or learning an instrument, when not occupied with windmilling in the faces of other humans.