(HEAVY FRIENDS is the segment where Robby tunes you in on the latest and greatest in obscure hardcore, metal, and other heavy things)
Nails have been causing quite the ruckus over the past few years; ever since their breakthrough LP Unsilent Death in 2010 (following a very impressive debut Obscene Humanity in 2009) Nails have been one of the frontrunners in a recent string of crusty, sludgy hardcore bands (many of which signed under Southern Lord, including Nails). I've been anticipating their follow-up Abandon All Life for some time, and the first taste we got from it in the form of "God's Cold Hands" is just making me all the more eager to hear the full record. Kurt Ballou's production was pretty damn grimey on Unsilent Death, but here? Man, these guitars are caked with grit and distortion, and that very effectively compliments the sheer force of the track, which may be its best quality. The drumming is fantastic, it gets this track going exactly how it needs to; and vocalist/guitarist Todd Jones is screaming with a slightly higher pitch than before that I think will set is vocal performance on this record apart from that of Nails' past output. And last but not least, when the inevitable breakdown comes, it does away with the corny nature of breakdowns in favor of being straight up crushing. Throw in a final grindcore-esque flourish, and you have grade-A metallic hardcore goodness!
If "God's Cold Hands" is any indication, Nails is set to punish us listeners with this new LP in a way Unsilent Death could only tease towards. It's without a doubt the most brutal new track I've heard so far into the year, and I pray to the dark lords below that the rest of the album maintains this level of abuse. Stream the track over at Pitchfork (of all places).
(I can seem pretty masochistic when I talk about music like this, can't I? Well either way, do yourself a favor and take your cold hands over to Twitter @ClydeNut and gimme a shout!)