Nails Album Review – ‘You Will Never Be One Of Us’

California-based trio Nails have been on an adrenaline-soaked roller coaster ride since their inception in 2009. The band didn’t waste any time and released an EP straight away followed by their full-length debut ‘Unsilent Death’. The sophomore album ‘Abandon All Life’ scored them a record deal with genre giant Nuclear Blast. ‘You Will Never Be One Of Us’ is the first release of this new collaboration.

If you haven’t heard of Nails before the name of the album gives you a good idea what to expect. ‘You Will Never Be One Of Us’ is certainly not an album full of love songs and sweet melodies. Instead the trio remains true to their roots and presents 10 angry songs over the epic length of 21 minutes. Speed and brutality fight for supremacy throughout the entire album. At the end we have to succumb to a tie between the two.

It would be too easy to call Nails’ music hardcore. Certainly there are many elements of hardcore on ‘You Will Never Be One Of Us’. However, the band takes their music to different levels. Despite the short length of the album there are influences that include grindcore, thrash and death metal as well as some sludge. Especially the last track ‘They Come Crawling Back’ goes beyond what we heard from Nails so far. With more than 8 minutes it is by far the longest song Nails have released so far. It also shows that the band is willing to develop and progress their songwriting, extending their reach into different subgenres of extreme music.

Extreme is an appropriate keyword for the album anyway. Nails are extreme in everything they do. From the death metal beginning of ‘Made To Make You Fall’ to the high-speed hardcore and thrash riffs and the barking vocals, all elements of the record exude aggression and brutality. The production adds to the intense atmosphere. While precise, fresh and crisp enough to convince as a modern album, the at times low-fi approach (to the drums for example) creates a live feeling. And that completes the circle for me. Nails’ music is written for the stage. It is supposed to punch you in your face, make you sweat and scream and raise your fist. ‘You Will Never Be One Of Us’ is an excellent album – short, punchy and extreme.

8.5 of 10