Release Date: Jun 17, 2016
Record label: Nuclear Blast
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal
Nails exude confidence; their third LP, You Will Never Be One of Us, is the recorded equivalent of the "We're fucking Nails" introduction with which leader Todd Jones often begins live sets. The opening tracks blister by with the sound the band built their name on, a kind of post-Harmony Corruption Napalm Death with death metal folded into their grindcore sound, and built on possibilities rather than restrictions. Powerviolence started as hardcore punk being pushed to its limits, and in a way, You Will Never Be One of Us has elements of that, but rather than traditional hardcore punk, it grooves with the swagger of New York hardcore.
The third studio full-length from the Oxnard, California-based powerviolence/grindcore unit, You Will Never Be One of Us clocks in at just under 22 minutes. Their longest outing to date, the ten-track set would be less of a marathon were it not for the epic eight-minute closer "They Come Crawling Back," a doomy, thrashy, and relentlessly brutal bit of business that boasts the album's lone fade-out; it actually exhausts itself. The rest of You Will Never Be One of Us closely mirrors Nails' previous offerings, delivering forehead-melting blastbeats, whammy bar-induced audio grand mal seizures, and lyrics that target the sickly sweet spot between apoplectic and hopeless.
Heavy. Like, really heavy. Completely and utterly fucking devastating.That’s the only way to accurately describe the twisted contents of Nails’ third full-length effort. Possessing more jagged edges than a shed full of rusty chainsaws, ‘You Will Never Be One Of Us’ is 21 minutes of frenzied, guttural hardcore of the highest calibre.Pulsing with unrestrained malice and disregarding any sympathy for the state of your ears after listening, the bile-drenched ‘Parasite’ and sheer wretchedness of ‘They Come Crawling Back’ help make for an uncompromising assault on the senses that will leave you broken, bloodied and pining to experience the vicious clobbering all over again.
Over the course of their seven years in action, Nails have dedicated themselves to exploring the isolating nature of existential malaise. They’ve called their two full length LPs Unsilent Death and Abandon All Life, and on those two records, the Oxnard, California trio have perfected their defiant approach to the yawning void. They preach fatalist atheism or enact brutal masochism while diving headfirst into hardcore's darkest corners (grindcore, powerviolence, and d-beat just to name a few), and that’s all in the course of just a minute or two.
Angry music ain’t easy. Maintaining peak levels of disgust with sociopolitical hierarchies, religious bastardization, or the human race in general takes a lot of elbow grease—particularly over the course of a full-length record. Nails have it figured out, though: Don’t trifle. Since 2009 the SoCal grind merchants have forged a punishing blend of machine-gun blast-beats, damaged riffs, and vocals that seethe and blister with the wrongdoings of mankind.
If you would've asked Carl and I that we'd still be writing this feature a few months ago, we would've been surprised. But we just can't help ourselves, seeing as this year has been exceptionally rich in terms of album releases. So how did we fare with our monthly "leftovers" this time around? Well ….
You’ll be familiar, more than likely, with Groucho Marx’s most famous quote, “I don’t care to belong to any club that would have me as a member,” or tweaked wordings thereof. Now, Groucho died before the onset of heavy metal elitism, and may not have been the type to throw horns to Manowar in any case – but, passing over those two barriers, consider his quip from the other side of the glass. That is to say, the most attractive members’ club is the one that doesn’t want to let you in.
Nails hates you. They hate your mother, sister, grandmother, and your dog. What the California triad despises most are trend jumpers, sycophants, and hangers-on – anyone who attaches themselves to something because of a perceived cool factor, rather than passion or belief. That loathing permeates the band's third album like xenophobia at a Trump rally.