Nails are a powerviolence grindcore band from California, but I would rather describe them as “tinnitus-inducing rowdies”, roughing up our eardrums with gnarly compositions, leaving behind bleeding, ravaged cochleas. Of course, when I say this, I mean it with the deepest respect for the band. Formed in 2009, Nails are a trio consisting of Todd Jones (Vocals/Guitars), John Gianelli (Bass) and Taylor Young (Drums). So far, they have released two full length albums and an E.P. and are about to release their third album ‘You Will Never Be One Of Us’ via Nuclear Blast Entertainment on June 17th.
The album kicks off with the title track “You Will Never Be One of Us” that begins with a surreal, edgy sample featuring many voices repeating the title phrase before giving way to a throat-ripping barrage of raw, dirty and absolutely vicious riffage. Todd’s vocals are brutally corrosive and go perfectly with the sound of the band. Midway, it rests on a groovy base that will make you bob your head in a neat up and down motion. “Friend To All” is a 45-second grindcore monster that starts angrily but before you know it, it slips into some nice tempo changes before bowing out to the thrashy intro of “Made to Make you Fall”. The aggression is unrelenting in the album but the band introduces many variations in their composition that make it quite an interesting album to listen to.
Tracks like “Into Quietus” and “Savage Intolerance” transcend briefly into the Thrash Metal/Death Metal realm, shedding the pace slightly and galloping away on a groovier track, especially the latter part of “Into Quietus”. Further, “In Pain” features a solo that will surely remind you of a young Kerry King. The best track for me, however, has to be the final track “They Come Crawling Back”. It is an 8-minute opus (considering there are songs as short as 45 seconds), that is a treat to listen to. The band is not restricted by genres and this track clearly shows it. It slowly works up the groove, thanks to Taylor Young and his mighty double bass, before resting on an evil-sounding hook from the depths of hell. Midway, it builds up a crescendo with Todd’s whammy bar tricks over a heavy breakdown and then twists into a doom-laden sludgy section that slowly lingers to its end. It’s entirely different from the band’s core sound and what you have been hearing thus far but it is very impressive.
The band’s chemistry is super strong and on the forefront for the entire length of the album. The album whizzes past you in just 19 minutes and 30 seconds and you won’t be able to resist spinning the album multiple times. The production is nice and loud, but Todd’s vocals could have been slightly higher in the mix, as it gets lost in it sometimes. Nails deliver a solid album in ‘You Will Never Be One Of Us’. It is like a storm through your ears. This album not only re-enforces the band as the flag-bearers of modern grindcore but also sees the band employ some new tricks that will definitely evolve and would be something to watch out for in the future releases.