“If I was a material I would be straw. I would burn with ease and bring villages down to their knees,” USA Nails’ frontman Steven Hodson states on ‘They’d Name An Age After Me’, delivered with the deadpan disinterest of an apathetic Dalek. If No Pleasure were a material I would suggest donning a face mask and marigolds before going anywhere near it. Their smog of noise is scathing, caustic and contagious; an intrusive spike of fuzz that will burrow its way into your brain like an intrepid tapeworm.
This thing is nasty from end to end. Hodson is a nihilistic snarler, belching black tar humour over a guitar tone that resonates somewhere between flaming aeroplane engine and goblin chainsaw. ‘I Am Normal’ is a shredding opener, tumbling hysterically into the brute squeal of ‘Palm Them Off With Me’ and the slithering ‘You’re A Stain’. Settle in. There will be no respite, only filth.
No Pleasure is the potent liquid left from the pedigree soup of past bands (Kong, Oceansize, Future Of The Left, Hawk Eyes) once the excess has boiled off. Noise is the priority, the identity of each track crucially hinged on the shifting tones of Gareth Thomas’s guitar. Their uncompromising drive for gnarly sound is challenging but the album refuses to degenerate into ugliness. Instead, the result is a collection of shamelessly direct punk songs, channelling soul-compacting, everyday loathing through their own twisted worldview. A must-hear punk-nasty.