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Obscene Humanity

(Southern Lord; US: 22 Jan 2013; UK: 22 Jan 2012)

Grinding, metallic hardcore outfit Nails, of Southern California, came to prominence with its blistering 2010 album Unsilent Death. The band’s new album, Abandon All Life, is due for release in early 2013 on label Southern Lord, but in the meantime Nails has rewarded its fans’ patience by dispensing a succinct dose of crust-laden toxicity in the shape of a new 7-inch, Obscene Humanity. Featuring three re-recorded tracks from the band’s debut 12-inch EP of the same name (“Obscene Humanity”, “Confront Them” and “Lies”), Obscene Humanity is a pummeling blast of filth and fury.

You’d be hard pressed to label the new 7-inch a progression of any sort. It was recorded in the main during the Unsilent Death sessions, with frontman Todd Jones’s graveled vocals recorded later and placed higher in the mix—so it’s more a case of further honing the blade by scraping off some of the rust. Still, the tracks do lean harder on chugging, dissonant metal. Befitting the band’s moniker, the 7-inch is seven minutes of ugly noise hammered home in ear-splitting fashion. It’s all about as pissed off, pugnacious and antagonistic as you could hope for, and given that’s what Nails does best, Obscene Humanity is a rapidly delivered stab of success.


Craig Hayes is based in Aotearoa New Zealand, and he is a contributing editor and columnist at PopMatters. Alongside his reviews and feature articles, Craig's monthly column, Ragnarök, traverses the metal spectrum. He is the co-author of PopMatters' regular metal round-up, Mixtarum Metallum, contributes to radio shows and numerous other sites, and he favours music that clangs, bangs, crashes, or drones. Craig can be found losing followers daily on twitter @sixnoises.

Nails - Obscene Humanity
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By taking the brutal traits of numerous metal sub-genres, Nails have created a violent record that leaves you begging for a reprise, only to press play and relive the assault all over again. And like any form of assault, the scars are worn on the inside long after the physical damage fades.
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