Genre: Hardcore, Power Violence, Crust
For Fans of: Minor Threat, Infest, Napalm Death
Recommended Tracks: "Unsilent Death," "I Will Not Follow," "In Exodus"
Have you ever wanted to punch someone in the face? I mean REALLY punch someone in the face. I'm talking lights out, permanent scar leaving, Mike Tyson type of punch out. If you don't have the patience of a saint and are a sane human being, chances are your answer would be a resounding yes, and boy, do I have a band for you.
Nails is a well-hyped four man group that play what is it at its absolute essence, hardcore punk. Yet Nails is a unique band in the hardcore scene due to their expert blending of genres. The band is a bit like a stew – take a large helping of Minor Threat-ian punk and combine that with the heavy distorted bass lines of stoner metal, the ferocity of power violence acts like Infest and Napalm Death, the raw energy of thrash metal and you have Nails; a heavy as balls band designed to rip the skull straight out of your skin.
Nails have released two LPS and an EP in the course of the past four years. 2010's "Unsilent Death," the band's debut LP, was an awesome release that launched a sonic assault against various topics ranging from Christianity, authority, death and anything or anyone that the band deemed to be too weak. At just over 14 minutes, many of the albums 10 tracks hardly had time to extend beyond a minute, and can be described as all-to-brief bursts of vicious noise, yet Nails were at their best when they allowed their songs to sprawl and focus on a more melodic approach. On their longer songs, Nails were able to show off the influences from other genres that they are working with. With the title track, Nails embark on a pummeling, three-minute journey that begins with a heavily distorted guitar riff that sounds like it would be at home in a particularly dominating thrash metal cut, and concludes with a feedback-heavy jam session wrapped around a bass line that marks a perfect meeting ground between stoner and doom metal. The hoarse, often-shouted voice of Todd Jones is perhaps the most identifiable aspect of the band’s chaotic sound. Though harsh, the lyrics are always audible and rarely require running to a lyric website or liner notes to understand.
2013s "Abandon All Life" followed "Unsilent Death." At 17 minutes, "Abandon All Life" is a bit longer effort than "Unsilent Death" and one that is slightly more focused on the power violence influence that marked the group’s shorter material. For this album, Nails dropped the more melodic elements in favor of straight-up head banging hardcore. The intro track "In Exodus" features what is likely the album’s most memorable moment. After 10 seconds of distortion, feedback and pummeling drums, Jones reaches into the most guttural part of his vocal range and lets loose a grunt that sounds like a demon kicking his way through the earth's surface on a trip out of hell. Though "Abandon All Life" featured less in the way of form or melody, it still held the band’s signature unrelenting energy, and that seems like it would be a difficult thing to do, no doubt.
"Obscene Humanity EP" (2009, Six Feet Under Records)
"Unsilent Death" (2010, Six Feet Under Records)
"Abandon All Life" (2013, Southern Lord)
Todd Jones: Vocals/Guitar
John Gianelli: Bass/Vocals
Andrew Saba: Guitar
Taylor Young: Drums
Check ‘em out here: http://www.last.fm/music/Nails
Sean Contris is a student at Tacoma Community College. Oftentimes he comes too close to embodying the classical, and oftentimes stereotypical, persona of a young male writer. Sean enjoys listening to a wide range of music and locking himself in his room to read sad Russian novels. Check out more of his “Band of the Week” features at http://www.TacomaWeekly.com (type “Band of the Week” in the search field).