Published Jun 15, 2016Nails exude confidence; their third LP, You Will Never Be One of Us, is the recorded equivalent of the "We're fucking Nails" introduction with which leader Todd Jones often begins live sets.
The opening tracks blister by with the sound the band built their name on, a kind of post-Harmony Corruption Napalm Death with death metal folded into their grindcore sound, and built on possibilities rather than restrictions. Powerviolence started as hardcore punk being pushed to its limits, and in a way, You Will Never Be One of Us has elements of that, but rather than traditional hardcore punk, it grooves with the swagger of New York hardcore. It's little nuances that really separate the songs here — literally, as the midsections, like the double-bass break of the title track, bass-led strut in "Friend to All" and "time to die!" exclamation of "In Pain," serve as creative bisectors and add to each track's uniqueness.
Closer "They Come Crawling Back" embodies the aforementioned confidence, as the refrain assures that those who leave will come back on their hands and knees. Meanwhile, the tempo and longer length (over eight minutes) exhibit it sonically, slowing down to create a puddle of sludge and then wade in its oppressive atmosphere.
Although the album's title refers to fairweather, bandwagoning hardcore and metal fans, it could just as easily refer to the band's peers in that very same scene; on You Will Never Be One of Us, Nails are simply on another level and, though others will have a tough time reaching it, they should all still aspire to it. (Nuclear Blast)