Nails - Obscene HumanitySouthern California three-piece Nails are another act lucky enough to find themselves signed to the excellent Southern Lord label. Having re-released their debut the band are now working on their first for the label, but in the meanwhile we have “Obscene Humanity”, available on mp3 and 7″ single.

Luck doesn’t really come into the band’s signing, I should think shock and awe is more the cause. Nails play the rawest, most brutal hardcore you could ever imagine. Their sound takes the reckless aggression of The Cro-Mags as its base then backs it up with the crushing riffs of Helmet and the squealing feedback guitars and percussive beats of Slayer.

Black Breath, who originated in hardcore, moved into death metal and with last album “Sentenced to Life” moved back towards hardcore are bloody brothers in arms. The highlight for me is the last track ‘Lies’. Clocking in at 3 minutes and 34 seconds it’s an epic by Nails standards and as such allows you more time to enjoy being aurally assaulted as it hammers the riffs home again and again.

Nails possess an unearthly guitar tone which sounds like heaviness distilled to its absolute purest form and transformed into a physical entity, which then punches you about the ears and solar plexus. It’s terribly enjoyable over the course of the six minutes this release lasts. I’m not sure I’d regularly want to endure a whole album’s worth though!

Hard as Nails? Heavy as Nails may be new benchmark.

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