Nails - _Abandon All Life_
(Southern Lord, 2013)
by: Dan Lake (8 out of 10)
I'm a little embarrassed about how much I love Nails. I like to believe that I can hear past production values and song lengths and album art, that the songwriting matters more than everything that's lacquered on after. Fact is, though, I can imagine hearing _Abandon All Life_ without the thick low end and thinking the whole affair was a second rate garage turd. I think I might be that shallow.

Whatever. Nails' second quarter-hour brick-to-the-chin rearranges the features of death-soaked hardcore in satisfyingly unpleasant ways. Single-minute tirades never lack for riff depth, and even the slower, fatter songs froth with taut rage. There's blood in these songs, passion scraped out of lyrics about power struggles and the cowardice of stupidity. Todd Jones' lyrics are as vital to the music's impact as the saturated guitar sound or chaotic percussion. It's obvious and plain dumbass writerly to say so, but Nails write songs like their name: short, blunt, brutal, efficient, cold and fucking hard, simple in makeup, inelegant but absolutely effective. It's a plural noun. It's a present tense verb. It's over already and it's time to receive that beatdown one more time. Nails me.


(article published 31/3/2013)

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