Published Feb 20, 2015Belgian band Nasty's new album, Shokka, is rife with contradictions: the cover features a graffiti-esque logo — fitting for their thug image — atop neon colours; the skit tracks, which fit with the thuggish image they've adopted, are jarring juxtaposed alongside the acoustic "Interlude" and jubilant "Outro."
The problem is that this beatdown record, despite these notable contradictions, lacks anything to make it distinct; bands like Lifeless are doing this with more hostility, while bands such as Steel Nation and predecessors Bulldoze have capitalized on the connection to the streets more convincingly. Shokka sounds like No Zodiac before the recent vocalist switch, but lacks the misanthropy, replacing it with poorly translated lyrics, such as in the nude picture-referencing (and misogynistic) "Real Talk."
The deathly riffing (and blast beats) in "Lying When They Love Us" and lively energy of "Rebel with a Cause" aside, Shokka isn't anything to write home about. The fact that it's as heavy as it is might be shocking at the beginning, but eventually the humdrum becomes the doldrums. (Good Fight)