Nails – Obscene Humanity (2012) Review

California hardcoregrindmetalpunk trio Nails keeps cranking out the fuzzy-crusty feral fury, this one a re-recording of some of their earliest material, presented now with the tar-coated, Sunlight-leaning, ten-ton sonics that characterize their more recent efforts. The previous Obscene Humanity (released in 2008) was more of a straightforward hardcore affair, though no less angry – just not quite as stout as this version, though that earlier issue was twice as long and featured twice as many tracks. The band’s irrepressible aural violence has always been their calling card, and just as they brought it then, they bring it here, albeit heavier in terms of production.

So of the original disc’s seven tunes, three get the re-recording treatment: the title track, “Confront You,” and the three-and-a-half-minute bruiser “Lies,” which is by far the longest and best track on either issuance of Obscene Humanity. Aside from the increased thickness of tone, there’s little difference – Nails is more about devastation than diversity, and there’s no significant deviation in these three tunes from the template laid out upon the band’s brilliant 2010 offering Unsilent Death. Of all the crusty, filthy hardcore coming out of Southern Lord, Nails is amongst the greatest, with good reason, and though these tunes are recycled, they’re culled down as highlights and, if nothing else, the sheer punishment of the approach is rewarding.

The only real drawback to Obscene Humanity is its six-and-a-half-minute running time – it’s over before you know it, really. Still, this pared-down repeat is designed as something of a teaser for a forthcoming second full-length in early 2013, and like the split with Skin Like Iron from roughly a year ago, it does fill a little of the void whilst we wait for the next attack. Nails fans will absolutely enjoy it, though the most dedicated will already have it in a form both lesser and longer. There are far less enjoyable ways to spend six minutes, so may as well get your head kicked in.

Posted by Andrew Edmunds

Last Rites Co-Owner; Senior Editor; born in the cemetery, under the sign of the MOOOOOOON...

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