NAILS, Terrorizer LA
Chain Reaction in Anaheim was the place to be in the OC Thursday night if you prefer your music fast, heavy and grinding, as Southern California based bands NAILS and Terrorizer LA headlined short but sweet sets for the all ages crowd.
Led by fromer Terror bandmate Todd Jones, NAILS takes things much darker, much much heavier than Terror and has a sound that buzzes through equal parts metal, hardcore and punk fury, which equates into a diverseified audience.
Jones seems angry, but also positive in his onstage vibe when fronting NAILS. The charisma, rage and aggression meld together nicely and keep the band’s music cogent and simple, but full of pure aggression. The Chain Reaction definitely saw the most people for NAILS 35 minute set which blasted through songs like “Friend to All,” “Violence is Forever,” “You Will Never Be One of Us,” “Scum Will Rise,” and others.
Fans ate it up and were moving for every song. There were mostly typical OC tough guy bros in the pit hardcore dancing, but during several portions of the show several slam dancers attempted a coup and took over for temporary circle pits. Jones kept yelling at fans during his songs and in between to “slam!” which made for some great action on the floor. One thing about NAILS is that they are all about unity. Punk, Metal, Grindcore, death metal, straightedge, there is a sense of welcome, and like all fit in at a NAILS concert. “I’ve been coming here since I was 19, and this is an honor to be playing on this stage tonight for you guys,” Jones said just before ending the band’s set with the skull crushing “They Come Crawling Back,” and “Unsilent Death.” NAILS is a band that can be embraced by punks, metalheads and hardcore kids alike. Truly a band on not to be missed, or messed with, these guys keep the sprit of bands like Minor Threat, Madball, Napalm Death Repulsion alive and well.
Prior to NAILS, the godfathers of Gridncore, and one of LA’s most extreme bands in the underground metal circuit, Terrorizer LA took the stage, and were plauged with sound problems and technical issues from the start. Despite this, the band’s abrasive, and punishing set of true old school grindcore madness was a bit too much for the crowd at the Chain Reaction. Perhaps because they were no breakdowns or perhaps because the evil, apocolyptic sound went over thier heads, the crowd just stood there, with no real action at all in the pit, just one empty circle. As Terrrorizer LA is led by original vocalist Oscar Garcia, veteran extreme metal gutarist extrordinaire Leon Del, bassist Carlos Reveles, and one of the fastest and most insane drummers in the LA Metal scene, Mike Caffell, who not only meets the standard of original drummer Pete Sandoval, but gives him a run for his money.
Terrorizer’s set was half an hour and consited of songs form the band’s seminal 1989 classic, World Downfall, including “After World Obliteration,” “Human Prey,””Corporation Pull-In,” “Enslaved by Propaganda,” and the set ending “World Downfall.”
Perhaps a reason for the still motionless pit was the intimidating tough guys who stood there as giant bouncers, making everyone reluctant to slam dance or circle pit out of fear of getting a a karate chop kick to the head. Or maybe it was because before the set started a woman with two very young children were in the center and quickly moved. It was later revealed these were Terrrorizer vocalist Oscar Garcia’s children. Or Maybe it was the middle aged gentleman who broke his phone as one lone mosher tried to encite a circle pit. Either way, the music was insane and Terrroize played a set that was both punishing and fast as hell, but the crowd was not having it that night.
Openers Nomads and Freedom were more punk in music and vibe but still were heavy and had a sound that complimented the sound of the night’s headliners. The former, being an LA harcore punk band, the latter being a Detroit based more metal tinged hardcore band, invoking early Hatebreed or Sick of it All.