Informing me that a band features the talents of Fall Out Boy drummer Andy Hurley probably isn’t the best way to sell me on their album, but I’m glad I swallowed my ignorance. I mean, you should’ve told me that Hurley is super talented and that he’s flanked by members of Cursed, Catharsis and Earth Crisis in SECT. Combine those mega-powers with uber-producer Kurt Ballou and the fabled GodCity Studios and you’ve got a hell of a blast of Entombed-core in No Cure for Death (Southern Lord).
Buried in the heart of Dalston, Birthdays seems an unlike venue to host one of the US’s finest hardcore bands, Nails. Packed full of neon lighting and modern décor the hoard of hardcore and metal fans invading the establishment for the evening seem mildly out of place. While the venue may not have been ideal, this didn’t deter the fans as the show sold out a week in advance.
With only two bands on that evening, it’s a late start at half eight for Inherit. Heading up from the southeast, this 5-piece opened an excited buzz of people already crushing in to gain the prized places at the front. Playing a mix of hardcore and thrash their music is abrasive, launching into an all-out assault of sound. Vocalist Adam Malik is chatty, energetic and enthusiastic pacing the stage and attempting to enthuse the audience. Despite his best efforts, the atmosphere wasn’t there for them that night and the music fell a little flat.
The popularity of Nails is evident as the venue becomes a mass of bodies and the walls begin to drip with sweat. Although the venue may have sold out, but there was not a hint of selling out from the band. With a heartfelt thank you to the audience and the people who have helped bring them over, Nails seem genuinely touched by the reception that evening.
Not a band for long or gentle intros, the band catapult full force into the set. The energy and atmosphere is intoxicating as limbs began to fly and the crowd mirror the chaotic madness spilling from the stage. With such short tracks, it quickly became hard to keep up with which song was being played and what tracked had preceded that, but ultimately this was unimportant. Nails music may be carefully crafted from across the most violent aspects of both punk and metal but to really get the most from seeing this band live you have to put away the analysis and loose yourself in the moment. Their high-energy performance keeps the crowd moving from beginning to end, and while the majority staggered out the venue appearing to have been through a mixture of an intense beating and a sauna, the cries of appreciation at the end of the set were unmistakable. With the promise of a new album and a return to the UK, it seems this band are not a force that will be stopping any time soon.