Printing the slogan “Hatred ad Infinitum” on your band’s T-shirts, flags, and back patches
is a bold move. Not because it necessarily sets you apart—any high school metal outfit about to butcher “Raining Blood” can say it—but because it sets you up to look foolish if it turns out you can’t epitomize hatred and misanthropy without sounding like a bunch of hacky meatheads. The four grind-leaning hardcore dudes in Nails
—fronted by Todd Jones, formerly of Terror and a host of like-minded bands—have channeled so much raw, primal fury into the new Abandon All Life
(Southern Lord) that the only real question is how long you can blare it before being overpowered by the desire to throw one large object at another large object. Totaling just over 17 minutes, the ten furious tracks shift from ringing blastbeats and demented, distorted screaming (“Tyrant”
) to chugging, sinister, pile-driving guitar and demented, distorted screaming (“Wide Open Wound”
). Of course Abandon All Life
was engineered by Kurt Ballou, because he’s dialed in to the dirty, heavy fuck-you sound that Nails rep so well. According to Jones
the band doesn’t tour extensively outside California, so if you feel like bothering, do it—this is easily one of the year’s best and most relentless albums thus far. Just sayin’. —Kevin Warwick The Killer headlines; Nails, Xibalba, Twitching Tongues, Early Graves, All These Years & Nothing, and Thieves open.