Ringworm, Nails, Bitter End, New Lows | Subterranean | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Ringworm, Nails, Bitter End, New Lows 17+ Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard

When: Mon., Aug. 8, 7:30 p.m. 2011

Cleveland thrashers Ringworm tour like true road warriors, but they're not especially prolific in the recording department—their new Scars (Victory) is their first full-length since 2007's The Venomous Grand Design and only their fifth in an on-and-off career that's lasted 20 years. They started off on the cusp of metal and hardcore and have moved gradually toward the former ever since; the razor-sharp precision of Matt Sorg and John Comprix's dual-guitar attack—especially on shredding songs like "Voluntary Human Extinction" and "Angelfuck"—lets you know where their hearts are these days. Front man Human Furnace has also been roaring it up with Gluttons and Holyghost, but his gritty pipes are at their best in Ringworm—and by the way, the band's namesake isn't a worm at all but rather a skin fungus, with nasty little spores that get into everything. —Monica Kendrick

To carve pissed-offedness into an album, you need a lot more than someone screaming bloody murder, slabs of sludgy guitar hell, ferociously thrashy drumming, and the world's meanest chisel. Last year's Unsilent Death (Southern Lord), cordially brought to you by the underexposed trio of SoCal ragemongers known as Nails, gets angry right. Recorded by Converge's Kurt Ballou at his studio GodCity, this skull-shaking masterpiece is a 14-minute row of middle fingers, blending elements of hardcore, grindcore, punk, and metal to create a freakish juggernaut of boiled-down, concentrated ugliness. The opener, "Conform," is a 32-second firing squad of blastbeats that jumps straight into "Scum Rise," a Discharge-esque burst of hardcore punk, which then segues into the 33-second "Your God"—leaving you three songs deep into Unsilent Death in just over two minutes. The brevity of Nails' sophomore album is easy to complain about (they're calling it a full-length, after all, not an EP), but by the time I get to the "epic" closer, "Depths," and its mega breakdown (the track runs a whopping four minutes), I'm just as ready to firebomb a gas station or reenact every one of John Rambo's scenes in First Blood as I would be if I'd listened to a balls-out record three times as long. —Kevin Warwick

Price: $10

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