Review Summary: Beauty in violence.
NAILS. Not Nails but NAILS. If ever a band deserved a name written in all caps it’s NAILS. The power-violence trio from California recently unleashed a 22 minute sonic beat down on the world at large. The genre is defined by short, brutal riffs with no filler and definitely no frills. This is the type of auditory assault that singer/guitarist Todd Jones, drummer Taylor Young and bassist Jon Gianelli have been dishing out since 2009. The band as described by Gianelli:
“All the rare parts on big metal records where it’s like ‘damn I would listen to that 11 minute song just to get to that one hard-ass riff’. What we do is just write that one minute hard-ass riff”.
For 90 percent of ‘You Will Never Be One of Us” this holds damn true (more on this in a moment). The album is abrasive, loud and utterly filthy. The production is crushing in its brevity and captures the band’s raw aggression perfectly. With the exception of ‘They Come Crawling Back’ and ‘Violence is Forever’ the average track length is a brief one minute and six seconds. In a genre that practically shuns experimentation most of this album holds true to the approach used on the band’s earlier releases. It is when they step outside of the genre lines that we find NAILS at their most interesting. The closing track clocks in at a staggering eight minutes and fourteen seconds. There are some power-violence bands whose entire album would fit into that timeframe. Even with the expanded timeframe NAILS does not deviate from the essence of the music they set out to create.
“I just want to make music that is one emotion all the way through; and I want it to be anger. The emotional feeling of wanting to punch somebody”.
Jones does not write music for musicians; he writes for the angry 15 year old in all of us. While they may not describe themselves as a “band for musicians” there are plenty of amazing moments interspersed throughout the album. Aided by masterful production the album maintains that small show electricity that so many artists try to capture. The vocals are raw and abrasive and delivered with honest emotion. Jones’ guitar work is simple, brutal and 100% effective. Rarely breaching out from the maniacal riffage infesting this release the few times that he does delve deeper into his guitar work are well done and appreciated. Young and Gianelli’s rhythm section are a physical assault turned into music.
NAILS deliver an angry, thrash and punk laced masterpiece for fans of all extreme music. Genre perfects are certainly going to be bitching about the experimentation here, but don’t listen to them. In 22 minutes NAILS delivers more than most bands do in their entire discography. The short but sweet review for the internet age; Album goes hard AF.