You Will Never Be One Of Us Album Review
Nuclear Blast Records
Released June 17, 2016
Genre: Hardcore, D-Beat, Death Metal, Grindcore
Hardcore can be really corny. It’s too easy. With all of the lyrics about brotherhood and authenticity played out ad nauseam, it feels like a joke after a while. People will probably make the argument that “You Will Never Be One Of Us” is full of laughable anger directed at the big bad boogeymainstream. While I agree with frontman Todd Jones’ views on notable figures in the mainstream trying to capitalize on hardcore and metal subculture being detrimental (i.e. Ian Connor and Kimye’s appropriation of punk and metal fashion) a lot of themes in this new Nails album are generic and corny but only if you take it at face value. If you understand that lyrically Nails is just self-aware of their popularity and they want to ensure that they won’t be the next Behemoth, “You Will Never Be One Of Us” is a statement that makes perfect sense for Nails at this point in their career. Although I understand upturned noses at the lyrical themes, no one can deny that this album will kick your butt worse than Flats from Spongebob could ever dream of.
Kurt Ballou produced this album once again, but this time he perfected everything that worked for Nails. I can clearly hear every single note Todd strums over the drums and bass, which has been hard for me in the past. This doesn’t detract from the intensity at all, however. The drums are boomier and the bass is dirtier. Todd sounds just as angry as ever. Instrumentally, there’s not much else to say that has changed.
However, the songwriting the tightest it’s ever been for Nails. The song structures are predictable (verse-chorus-verse-chorus-breakdown) but the speed of each songs makes it hard for someone to expect the typical pattern since they’d get so caught up in the chaos of riffage and blast beats. The breakdowns and beatdowns sound like they were inspired by a sewage meatgrinder. I know that makes no sense and probably doesn’t exist, but imagine something that nasty and you have the beatdowns on YWNBOOU. “Savage Intolerance” is just one example of a song that follows the same structure but hits way harder than anticipated. The whammy bar abuse that occurs in the middle of the song will cause the most contorted and disgusted of countenances to appear on listeners’ faces. Every song on this album hits, some just faster and more unwieldy than others. The title track is slower and less heavy, which makes it stand out in a bad way, especially since it’s the first song on the album.
Nails haven’t done anything too novel, but they’ve mastered the art of aural punishment. You won’t enjoy this album, but it sure will enjoy you.
PRETTY NEAT MUSIC
FAV TRACKS: Made to Make You All Fall, Savage Intolerance, They Come Crawling Back
LEAST FAV TRACK: You Will Never Be One Of Us