Boy, was I fooled. Nails album, Unsilent Death, comes with two pieces of name dropping: Kurt Ballou and Todd Jones. Recorded by Ballou at God City Studios, Nails also features Jones (ex-Terror) on guitars and vocals. The ex-Terror tag prepped me for some more tough guy moshcore — the variety that Terror have been popularizing as of late.

But from the opening track, “Conform,” it takes about two seconds to be forcefully taught the error of my ways. Nails are a brutal band. That is all there is to it. The lyrics aren’t really anything new — a whole lot about being on your own and not giving a shit what anyone else thinks. But you aren’t listening to Nails for insight into your life. You are listening to each song to get utterly pulverized into a meatless pulp. Each song incorporates a slight Converge influence in terms of sheer speed and insanity (without the technicalities of Converge), but led by Taylor Young’s drums, Nails can hardly even take the time to really slow down for a mosh riff. But when they do like in “Suffering Soul,” whoa boy, stretch out those arms and get ready to flail.

 

This isn’t your standard hardcore here boys and girls. This is the stuff that you put on to try and get disowned from your family. Let your mom listen to the blast beats of “Traitor” and try and explain why she should still love you. The band’s spastic take on hardcore puts them on par with Trap Them for the best Converge impersonation out there. But Nails aren’t trying to do an impersonation; for starters, they don’t even have enough material to make a half-hearted effort at it. Almost every song comes in blistering at the two-minute mark, just enough time to lay waste before you even have any idea what happened.

Unfortunately, Nails occasionally tread back to those Terror days that Jones used to live in. “I Will Not Follow” loses a bit of its smarts with a pretty meatheaded breakdown (backwards caps will no doubt love this song in the pit). But the bad moments are few and far between. Nails are making a statement of sorts — if you can call getting punched in the face a statement.

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