Nails Play Death Metal. Change My Mind.


It has come to my attention recently that a lot of people seem to think seminal Death Metal band NAILS play some other sort of genre? Ummm what, sweetie?

NAILS, the absolute pulverizing unit of brutality hailing from Oxnard, California, have been pushing out their own brand of aggressive heavy rock music for years now. Their sound incorporates highly distorted guitars, very gruff, aggressive vocals, fast drum beats and unintelligible lyrics, or in other words: DEATH METAL. This isn’t your grandfather’s music, oh no. NAILS deliver intense slabs of unrelenting oppressiveness to be aggressive to in a pogo pit:

The thing is, this is Death Metal, plain and simple. There are no two ways about it. However, I was talking to some people the other day and they told me that NAILS are not Death Metal and that my taste is shit. The gall! I’ve learned more from Stevie T in the last year than they have ever, they’re the real posers here. This all has gotten me thinking, and I’m starting to get an idea of where other people get these heinous notions from.

Firstly, astute readers will make note of the fact that Todd Jones, frontman of NAILS, was once in poser Not Metal band Terror, and could say that this invalidates him from being able to play Death Metal, even if the music actually lines up. You might also argue that Death Metal is for Old People, and NAILS formed no more than 10 years ago, therefore they can’t be Death Metal. And you’d be right.

But I did some digging, and it turns out NAILS actually formed in the 80s and released a very obscure demo. The logo on the tape cover is hard to read, but you can clearly make out it says NAILS. And I’m not sure about this, but I think they had a different lineup? At any rate, it sounds rawer and less developed but it’s all here: half-shouted vocals, grimy downtuned guitars (although the “buzzsaw” sound would come later on) and hardcore punk-based drumming, but faster. This is Old School Death Metal at it’s finest, and by the sound of it it seems like the NAILS played an important part in influencing the future of the genre. Check it out here.

So, to recp, NAILS:

  • Are not Hardcore like Cro-Mags
  • Are on Encyclopedia Metallum
  • Are not Grind like Napalm Death
  • Are not Thrash like Metallica
  • Tour with other younger Death Metal bands like Gatecreeper and Kvelertak all the time
  • Actually formed before Death Metal and helped shape it
  • Are heavier than poser bands like Bon Hovi


What more proof do you millenials need?

Nails play Death Metal. Change my mind.


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