Nails live at Sneaky Dee’s, 29 April 2013

By on 1 May 2013

Terrorizer’s Jonathan Keane just happened to be in Toronto the same night as Nails, Xibalba and Early Graves. It was a pretty brutal affair at Sneaky Dee’s…

Nails

Nails

If this isn’t a loaded hardcore show then we don’t know what is. First off, local talent Never Was kick off the Monday evening proceedings with a short set of NYHC flavoured beatdowns while German punks Burial roll out a few vicious hardcore numbers, slightly inflected with the spirit of classic rock.

It’s when Toronto’s own Burning Love take to the stage that this night truly shifts into another gear. Easily melding some new tunes with more seasoned numbers, the band are on fine form with Chris Colohan in particular making the role of frontman look easy.

Early Graves

Early Graves

Early Graves erupt with an ebullient rendition of ‘Skinwalker’, which sets the tone straight away. From there, the San Franciscans ramble through a stunning set of their vicious hardcore that’s riddled with melody and an undercurrent of sleazy rock. Vocalist John Strachan, carries the band with supreme poise but the rest of the band are not to be shown up, ending the set with a simply killer version of ‘Quietus’ that concludes with a climactic instrumental jam.

Xibalba then inject a dangerous level of adrenaline into the crowd as a battleground opens with chaotic slam dancing in abundance and black eyes surely emerging the next morning. Xibalba’s sound is primitive and raw, and maybe a little one dimensional at times, but they are a band not concerned with any frills or layers, rather just bringing the punishment, with the likes of ‘Hasta La Muerte’ and ‘Cold’, and the response they get on this night more than validates that.

Xibalba

Xibalba

To say that Nails are the sonic representation of a bad mood is an understatement. However, a few hours before this show got started, the band tweeted the following: “We got into Canada. We lost a roadie and had to pay $847 in taxes. In a fucking bad mood I wanna see someone get fucked up tonight”. So needless to say, adrenaline is running high and that’s more than clear with this brisk but totally pulverising set from a band that are arguably one of the hottest hardcore acts on the planet right now.

Whether it’s material from the new record, ‘Abandon All Life’ or predecessor ‘Unsilent Death’, Nails are firing on all cylinders, executing each note with reckless abandon, a fervour only mirrored by the crowd and their own violent acts; ‘Suffering Soul’ brings a hail of searing fury that you would expect, with guitarist/vocalist Todd Jones clearly in a blind frenzied rage.

Nails

Nails

While Nails are always most comfortable in an intense melee of breakneck hardcore, they can slow the assault down too, made all so evident with the brooding ‘Wide Open Wound’ lodged in the centre of the set for good measure and ending with the title track of ‘Unsilent Death’, Nails couldn’t have chosen a better closer for one last bludgeoning.

Words & Photos: Jonathan Keane

 

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