Words & Photos by James Alvarez
Nails, Southern California’s favorite demolition crew, rarely tour, but when they do it’s a series of dates with awesome support bands like the thrash warriors in Toxic Holocaust, and death metal fiends Gatecreeper. The band wrapped up their month long tour across the states with two blistering, sold out shows at The Hi Hat in Los Angeles this past weekend.
An early start time and ungodly traffic [on a Sunday evening?] stopped us from catching Gatecreeper, which is a crime because their debut album Sonoran Depravation was one of the best records of 2016. We managed to stroll in while iconic LA punk heroes Final Conflict tore up the stage. The crowd inside The Hi Hat was an eclectic mix of metal heads, punks, hardcore dudes and other black clothing aficionados. In other words, the Nails legion was in full force.
The fist pumping quotient rose exponentially once Toxic Holocaust began their set.
Their brand of infectious, yet lethal old school thrash metal was an instant hit with the audience. The band’s high energy and Joel Grind’s grizzled voice whipped the circle pit into a frenzy. How do you not lose your mind when “Nuke The Cross” gets played?
It was Nails’ turn to close out this series of hometown shows and in usual fashion, they brought the friggin house down.
Fans have had a year to digest the band’s phenomenal 2016 record, You Will Never Be One Of Us, so the ton of newer songs they played were definitely will received. The floor went wild during new anthems like “Life Is a Death Sentence” and for old favorites like “God’s Cold Hands” and “Depths.” Ragers like “Parasite” and “Scapegoat” got heads banging and beer flying, but it was some of Nails’ slower jams like “They Come Crawling Back” and “Wide Open Wound” that prompted the most frenzied responses because they’re just that fucking heavy. The band ended the night with “Unsilent Death” breaking necks and winnings hearts in the process.
Here’s to many more rad Nails gigs in the future.