Album Review: USA Nails – Life Cinema (Various Labels)

London based USA Nails release their fourth album “Life Cinema” on May 10 2019 through Dipped In Gold Records (UK), Bigout Records (France), and Hex Records (USA).

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In the past year, USA Nails have toured the USA and Europe, played Best Kept Secret Festival [NL], Label Mates [UK] and La Ferme Electrique [FR], shared stages with the likes of Viagra Boys, Cocaine Piss, and Unsane, and recorded a live session for Radio X (London). In addition to the release of their new LP, the coming months will see them tour mainland Europe and the USA again, and also make appearances at IDLES aftershow party in London, Insert Name Festival [Be], Raw Power [UK], Triptych [UK], Salt Mortal [E], Cardiff Psych Fest [UK] as well as a short tour with Metz in June.

“Life Cinema” was tracked live at Bear Bites Horse in London. With the help of producer Wayne Adams, they have created a record that is raw and gritty, while still being rich with both melodic and lyrical hooks. On it, they rave about pointless jobs, wannabe artists, social anxiety, offices that have fridges with beer in them and Epsom.

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The UK rock and metal scene has been on the rise over the last couple of years. More and more bands spread across the country are producing interesting, unique and high quality music. We’ve raved about many of them on this site and will continue to do so in the future. Being UK based, it makes us extremely proud to see young and upcoming bands deliver music that has the potential to be huge.

Well, we have another to rave about….USA Nails.

Describing themselves as ‘no-wave, post-punk with noise rock tendencies’ is impressively apt. More so because few will be able to work out what that means. You have to listen to Life Cinema to get it and when you do, you’ll be so glad you did. This album is very unique.

Smile creates a wall of noise but with an easy to understand rhythm highlighted by scratchy guitars, deep bass and English-twanged vocals that come across quite punky. It’s the first indication that USA Nails aren’t your every day bog-standard band.

Short and frantic, Creative Industries is much more in your face before the title track throws out everything you thought you understood before. A methodical pace that builds up uncomfortably, the monotone vocals and guitar madness are quite intruding.

The madness continues into the punk-fury of Man Act, the whines of guitar in You Wish and the belly-rumbling bass of Microphone. All so very different but not so much that they sound out of place on this album.

We’re so far from done though…

How on earth do you explain It’s Ordinary to someone? Spoken-word vocals with roars of noise interspaced between the words all while the drum beats sound off the same beat over and over again. It shouldn’t be good but it’s really is.

Done? Behave!

Keeping with the overall theme of Life Cinema, A Fair Nickel is a super-short but effective channelling of heavy noise. Work Drinks is daringly upbeat with its tongue planted in its cheek before Little Does He Know wraps the mind with a ringing endorsement of USA Nails’ quality.

You’ll not want it to end but end it must. Two final efforts; A Sense of Self Will Always Limit You being one of the more expansive and longer tracks on the album. The shaky guitar work and venom in the vocals impressing. While Life Cinema Reprise is 46 seconds of video game chiptune noises and a voice recording serving as an outro.

Phew! Take our word for it, you need to hear Life Cinema to fully understand and appreciate what USA Nails have accomplished here. It’s an incredible effort, so unusual and unique, so well worth checking out just to see what the fuss is about.

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USA Nails – Life Cinema Full Track Listing:

1. Smile
2. Creative Industries
3. Life Cinema
4. Man Act
5. You Wish
6. Microphone
7. It’s Ordinary
8. A Fair Nickel
9. Work Drinks
10. Little Does He Know
11. A Sense of Self Will Always Limit You
12. Life Cinema Reprise




Head over to USA Nails’ website to find out more and pick up their music. Previous releases can also be found over on Bandcamp. Finally check out their Instagram and Facebook too!

USA Nails - Life Cinema (Various Labels)
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