After probably over 100 listens in the past week since I got this in the mail I still can’t find the words to describe how I feel about Nails’ Nuclear Blast debut, You Will Never Be One Of Us. Why? Because all I want to do is jump someone from behind and literally BEAT THAT PERSON TO A BLOODY DEATH AND SET THE FUCKING CORPSE ON FIRE!!!! This record is the combination of the band’s last two albums, resulting in an album that brings out literally EVERY single negative emotion I can think of. This has got to be the ugliest, most vile, disgusting, violent, hate-filled album I’ve ever heard in my entire life – and I loved every single second of it!
It kicks right off with the title track, which starts off exactly like in the music video, with members of Neurosis, Youth Code and Baroness saying “You Will Never Be One Of Us”, before the bands kicks in…in one big explosion of rage. Unless you haven’t seen the video for the title track since it came out back in April, you’ve already heard vocalist/guitarist Todd Jones’ brand new hate filled approach to vocals. It’s not the high pitched scream of Abandon All Life, and it’s not the yelling of Unsilent Death either. It’s the type of angry, slobbering, vile (I think I’m going to use that word a few more times here) noise you make when you’re fighting some asshole.
You FEEL Todd’s hate at the scene that he gave his life to when he barks “Fuck your trends/fuck your friends/fuck your groupies”. That song and the album as a whole are about those who give their all to the lifestyle and those who are only in it for the money and the fame that doesn’t really come with this kind of music. It’s all about being REAL and that’s what makes this album what it is.
Tracks that follow the opener, such as the vitriol drenched “Friend To All” and “Life Is A Death Sentence” (and he’s not wrong there!) continue the musical beatdown. If you never knew who Nails were until this record came out last week you should know now that you will never be allowed to catch your breath when listening to any of their shit. One of my favorite tracks on here is “Savage Intolerance”, which also happens to be the second song the band made a video for. It sounds like Grindcore for most of the song…all 1:46 of it…until the mid-section kicks in. During that section you hear Taylor Young’s doublebass along with a very metallic, dissonant guitar harmony line that makes me feel like everything I know is crashing down all around me and there is no time at all to save myself.
The final track, “They Come Crawling Back”, is the longest track on here, clocking in a just over eight minutes. Much like in “Savage Intolerance”, the band seem to branch out of the Grindcore/D-Beat sound more and more, because this song is a lot sludgier than anything they ever did. It reminds me of “Suum Clique”, the closing track to Abandon All Life, with the deliberately slower tempo. Come to think about it, the slightly faster chorus reminds me of a much rawer Crowbar, only Todd Jones is barking violently into the mic instead of Kirk Windstein’s sandpaper wails.
It’s hard to believe Nails could top Abandon All Life but they did. At just over 21 minutes it’s all substances and no bullshit, just like their previous two records. But the biggest difference with You Will Never Be One Of Us is that, thanks to producer/Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou, Nails is in a position most bands like them will never know and that’s the ability to appeal to not just one crowd. There are elements of Metal, Grindcore and, true to Todd’s past in Terror, Hardcore. It’s only June but I’m already calling this the Album Of The fucking Year!