Nasty

Shokka

Written by: PP on 19/02/2015 22:47:48

"SHOKKAAAA!" growl Nasty in a dominating manner on the title track "Shokka". It almost sounds as if they're screaming shocker as a prelude of sorts for Nasty fans in for a shocking treatment in terms of the rather radical stylistic alteration the band have undergone since previous album "Love" from two years ago. In the past, Nasty have become synonymous with the musical equivalent of utter stupidity: one-dimensional, variety-lacking, senseless pounding of a single note or two at mind-numbingly slow tempo all for the sake of sounding as murderously heavy as humanly possible. Songwriting, conventional structure, and longevity all be damned for a short-lived injection of pure testosterone directly into vein. For "Shokka", most of the above has been reduced to a side role as the band seeks new ventures and actually evolve as a band into something a little more appreciable as an objective music critic necessarily looking beyond the standard "this shit is fucking heavy" argument.

In short, the brutal beatdown crew have finally discovered a crucial element lifting their expression from a nonsensical one-dimensional approach into something more interesting: variety. "No" is a great example. Sure enough the song has a classic Nasty section with tectonic pummeling designed for the slow-stompers in mind, but before that, there are grooves, gang shouts, hardcore punk style instrumentation, and get this: riffs! A word that has seldom been relevant in the context of a Nasty album suddenly becomes the red thread holding an entire album together. "Phoenix" - here we go: there's a distinct lead guitar riff here that's among the most melodic Nasty has written to date, which arguably reaches all the way to melodic metalcore. Those familiar with the band will recognize what a massive leap that term is sound wise from previous material. Colour me impressed. The hip-hop inspired vocals tear and rip through the atmosphere for a while whilst the instrumentals repeat a simple two-tone drone on the background, but then it's time for some more metalcore riffage in the middle and a relatively catchy hardcore chorus straight after. It's groovy. Catchy even. I bet you didn't expect those words either.

At the same time, fans of their older style records need not be entirely worried. A song like "Lying When They Love Us" feels like war just broke out somewhere. And it's not alone in causing utter devastation on the record. But these type of tracks are, however, in the minority throughout "Shokka". In general, the record is quite fast compared to their previous efforts. The increased pace comes hand in hand with increased technicality, which is a huge improvement in terms of the listening experience. It no longer feels like banging your head against a brick wall for half an hour. Instead, it now sounds like an actual hardcore album that isn't afraid to branch out from its ultra specific foundations. Kudos.

Download: Shokka, Irreversible, No, Phoenix, Fire
For the fans of: The Acacia Strain, Impending Doom
Listen: Facebook

Release date 27.02.2015
BDHW

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