Shame Spiral by USA NailsRelease date: June 16, 2017
Label: Hominid Sounds
Shame Spiral sees USA Nails offer up ten ponderous tours through rhythm and noise, all the while touching base with some of my favourite artists and providing a great deal of questions.
“What is the price? What is the price? What is the price?” USA Nails open their album with a simple sentiment, lamenting and lethargically accepting the exhausting setback of a world where everything is for sale, but only the rich can afford anything worth having. Foreboded by Gnod’s album last month Just Say No To The Psycho Right Wing Capitalist Facist Industrial Death Machine and its leading track ‘Bodies For Money’ in which the band groan an existential dirge of “bodies for money, money for bodies”, USA Nails captures this sickening economic zeitgeist of hopeless, self-centred, corruption and avarice.
Similar, once again to Gnod, USA Nails have put a lot of weight and meaning on the content of their album through the use of an intriguing and commanding title. What is a shame spiral? What happens we’re not allowed to express who we are? What happens when a part of a person is no allowed to grow but is instead trapped and forced to mutate in a skeletal prison that overflows and shudders at the seams to stay in shape? Fear, insecurity, desire; damage. Pain. Shame is in interesting idea; imagine a world without shame, I wonder how different things would be?
‘Interchangeable Sister’ acts like a fuse exploding the album into a feverish panic. The tracks that follow assault the mind and ears relentlessly with mechanistic drums, pulverising bass lines and towers of distortion. The result is that the albums becomes a blurry, rage-induced charged that slumps exhausted into the aftermath of ‘I Give In’. “I have come to the realisation that my body is laughing at me” interrupts the monologue amidst the brutality. It feels like that moment where temper gives way to clarity. Only, the aggression resurfaces. On the one hand it feels like Shame Spiral is about an endless cycle of punishment and vitriol. When it appears the band are about to relent they charge forward heavier and somehow more incensed. I have to assume it’s reflexive of the past couple of years socio-politically. An endless torrent of bad news, dying heroes and forebodings of what’s to come. It seems like the Tories will hold Britain forever, it feels like conservatism is spreading over the Western world like a swarm of locusts, pillaging and consuming decency and breeding ignorance and fear. I like to think the anger in this album is born of a punk-like sense of injustice and disharmony in the world we live in. Maybe, I’m wrong but, all I can say is it reminds me of that scene in Network…
Shame Spiral is a relentless burst of enmity and abrasion cascading fury in all directions. All that’s left is noise, USA Nails are pissed off and that’s something we can all relate to right now. Fuck terrorists. Fuck tabloid journalism and fuck the Tories.