Album Review: USA Nails – Shame Spiral

Review from Ben Forrester

USA Nails? As in a shop where you get yer nails done, yeah? NAH MATE! USA Nails are four good looking boys that make super gnarly noise-rock delivered with a punk snarl and filthy psyched out tendencies. They do not fuck about, mate. Their third LP ‘Shame Spiral‘ was written and recorded hot off the heals of their incredible second LP, ‘No Pleasure‘, which was full to the brim with noise-punk bangers. There’s been a couple of low key releases since then which have expertly continued their ferocious voyage into scuzz-rock, which leads to this new record becoming a very anticipated release indeed.

Shame Spiral keeps up the speed as it tears through 25 minutes of pummelling drums, screeching guitars, rumbling bass tones and seething vocals. Having said that, this record does focus a little less on frantic noise and more on the mind melting, psych-like undertones of their previous materials. Take opener ‘What Is the Price?‘ for example; it’s on the edge of an explosion but doesn’t quite get there. Instead it keeps you on your toes as it hypnotises you with a regimented rhythm section that could go off at any second. It’s this approach that actually gives USA Nails an element of danger to their sound, as you’re not quite sure where they’re going to go next. The answer is usually a burnt down flat on Kick Yer Head In Street just off Gross-Ville town center.

Elsewhere, the band give us straight up fist pumping punk like ‘Interchangeable Sister‘ and ‘The Robots‘, which mainly show off the sheer stamina of drummer Matt who’s bull-in-a-china-shop approach is utterly exhilarating throughout. Each member plays such an integral part to this band’s ruthless sound. There’s the inventively gnarly guitar sounds of guitarist Gareth, which keep you on yer toes from track to track, always an inch away from a brutal stabbing. Then you’ve the hypnotic bass tones of Dan, who follows Matt in making a controlled riot of sound, fuzzily solidifying the sheer punch of the percussion. And of course, wrapping it all up is the dry witted intensity of vocalist Steve, who flickers in-between sarcastic and menacing as he discusses everything from the importance of music in a physical format (‘Does Format Matter?) to the physical defects of getting old (‘I Give In) and pretty much everything else. There is no filter here, you are firmly inside this man’s head and it’s disturbing but hilarious.

Shame Spiral is another stupendously thrilling ride. It’s tighter, faster and more hypnotic. It sees the quartet locking into grooves as well as letting rip for some body relieving results. Ultimately, it cements USA Nails as an unstoppable force and the chemistry that these four players share together is undeniable. For those that don’t know. GET TO KNOW.

Read all about the inspirations behind Shame Spiral

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