Pitchfork (Website) - "Nails make music for when you look at life and see little of value, for when you're feeling bitter and alone. On their latest, they make a little room for others to stare at the void with them."
Personnel: Todd Jones (vocals, guitar); Taylor Young (drums); John Gianelli (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Kurt Ballou.
Recording information: God City Studios (01/05/2016); The Pit Studios (01/05/2016); God City Studios (12/27/2015-01/06/2016); The Pit Studios (12/27/2015-01/06/2016).
The third studio full-length from the Oxnard, California-based powerviolence/grindcore unit, You Will Never Be One of Us clocks in at just under 22 minutes. Their longest outing to date, the ten-track set would be less of a marathon were it not for the epic eight-minute closer "They Come Crawling Back," a doomy, thrashy, and relentlessly brutal bit of business that boasts the album's lone fade-out; it actually exhausts itself. The rest of You Will Never Be One of Us closely mirrors Nails' previous offerings, delivering forehead-melting blastbeats, whammy bar-induced audio grand mal seizures, and lyrics that target the sickly sweet spot between apoplectic and hopeless. In short, it's another vital and punishing set of high-caliber hardcore ragers that celebrate the worst that humanity has to offer. It's also the group's most polished -- if shiny razors are your thing -- effort to date, due in large part to some pithy production work from Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou. Still, it's an unrelenting black mass of vengeance, with meatier bits like "Violence Is Forever," "Savage Intolerance," and the punitive title track boasting a boomy, pit-of-your-stomach throb that helps to balance out some of the shriller tones that accompany the intermittent air-raid siren noodling. It's lethal stuff, and too much of it would likely kill you, which is why, in looking ahead to future endeavors, they should probably steer clear of the 35-minute mark. The band's devotion to unadulterated sonic malevolence remains unchanged. They know that the darkest corners of the human psyche have deep closets, and they would like to show you what's in them. ~ James Christopher Monger