Nails – Unsilent Death (11/15/2010)

Dem riffs.

No one knows what this album is apparently. D-Beat, Hardcore, Crust-Punk and even a few Grindcore’s from the internet have been slapped on it, so without much negative recourse I’m going to place it somewhere firmly between D-Beat and Crust Punk, however, it has a very strong crossover appeal as well, and I can see anyone from hardcore to grindcore to metal fans enjoying it.  Riffs know no creed.

What you have here is 15 minutes (yeah, I’ll get to that later) of pure, unadulterated hatred and vile disposition carried by this three piece, full of tempo changes (another word to disguise the fact that they’re breakdowns, and plenty of people know it’s a dirty word now), strained, gruff vocals, powerful guitar and bass riffs, hard hitting drums and some very well done production values, but certainly not falling into anything but most Kvlt would call polished.  Nails do not fuck around.  Every track is a non-stop train to anger and riff town, and you’re going to enjoy every minute of it.

Lyrics often are nothing more than angry syllables and hate-filled fragment sentences, though this isn’t really anything other than what I would expect from an outfit like this.   Though, Nails do get some credit for taking the blunt approach to their lyrics, keeping them simple and direct, much like their music, without making any high-falutin’ claims to lyrical complexity and subtext.  Mainly dealing with societal ills and of course hatred Nails makes their intention known, and does with simplicity and bluntness OF A GODDAMN FIST IN YOUR FACE.  While we’re on the subject, we’ll tackle vocals as well; and they are angry.  They have more of the gruff, gravelly tones than any higher shrieks–however, you can tell that his voice becomes strained, and that he’s belting his heart out with his voice, and it certainly gives a genuine and raw feeling to the music, belaying any claims of overproduction, at least vocally.   For those familiar with the style of music, he’s fairly discernible, as far as these types of  go, and they’re delivered in classic rapid-fire style, as well as a few well placed, wordless screams.  One of the biggest problems I have with this style  of vocals, not limited to any particular genre, is the general lazy attitude to the vocals; they generally throw up somebody playing guitar into the microphone and have him make unpleasant noises, and that’s that.  It’s terribly annoying for one thing, and it’s also upsetting because their are some that are good at it. There’s a lot of power packed in the vocals, and they got a lot of credit for not just throwing assfuck mcgee on the vocals because he plays guitar and have him scream into the microphone, killing the music.  They’re good, abrasive and angry.

I keep mentioning these riffs.  Here’s way: Goddamn. If you do not headbang at least once to these lyrics, there may be no hope for you.  They’re infections, guttural and memorable. Both the bass and guitar take that mid-level tone and just run with it, either belting in unison or scrambling independently, they make it work.  And work it does.  The bass is dirty and chunky, and often does its own work behind the lead guitars, knocking down bass line after bass line, and then coming in to mesh with the guitar in key points.  The guitar also punches through the music, laying down some incredibly memorable and powerful riffs, without overstaying the welcome–the breakdowns within the music (le gasp!) serve a purpose, and become some of the most awesome parts of the music.  Fuck stigmas about them, as much as they annoy me and many others in a lot of other bands, these work.  The band dances between frantic, dissonant nearly Grindcore passages and then dials it way the fuck down to some grinding, sludge-esque lines before going back.  I could go on, but you get the idea.  Superb.

I feel kind of bad not having as much to say about the drums, because they are more than serviceable: they’re awesome.  But they do their job best as support, so it’s harder to give more memorable instances in the music, but that’s probably a good thing.  Heavy handed, without overpowering, they are platform for the rest of band, and it’s a solid foundation.  Blast beats and agonizingly slow cymbal crashes, don’t count it out, because regardless of how little it sets itself out amongst everything else, the band would fall apart without such solid drumming.

And here were are back to that 15 minute comment I made earlier.  This album is over before you know it; sometimes I think it does a good job of staying as long as its able without being over-long (it IS hardcore related), but a lot more of the time I just want more, and I’ll listen to it again.   Ten songs in 15 minutes is quite a ride, and a satisfying one at that, but after its over most of the time (for those enjoy the music) you’re left wanting more.  That’s my only real complaint–for something so short it’s awfully powerful and intense, as well as fulfilling, but sometimes I feel a bit greedy and want more.  It’s just too damn short, even for D-beat or Crust.

If you can’t tell from the cover or the description or the genres, it’s not for everyone.  It’s angry, dark, abrasive, unmelodic music.  I always recommend people listen to all of my reviews because it’s the best way to form an honest opinion, but don’t expect anything hummable, bright or beautiful.

Obviously for fans of good D-Beat, Crust, Hardcore, but also for metal fans trying to find a good (modern) intro into the styles, as well some who find Grindcore a little too chaotic for their liking.  It has mass appeal in small area, but it’s not to be missed regardless.  I expect good things from Nails.

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