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USA Nails – Feel Worse (One Little Independent)

USA Nails are fucking noisy bastards.

They’re also an absolute force of nature, of course. Just over a decade on since their formation, they’re showing zero signs of slowing down or turning to music of a more meditative persuasion.

Perhaps ironically, given what I’ve just written, Feel Worse begins with ‘Cathartic Entertainment‘, but there’s no introspective navel-gazing here. Instead, we’re met head-on with an urgent demand as to whether the narrator is, in fact, just a plaything for others to laugh at when things go wrong. And that schadenfreude is, in a nutshell, the overriding theme that runs throughout this latest long player. USA Nails though, I would imagine are absolutely the kind of band whose fans thrive on the cathartic nature of their output. Are you at a desperate time in your life? Fed up? Frustrated? Put Feel Worse on, and you will, in fact, do the exact opposite. It’s the best kind of medicine.

Some tracks veer closer to commerciality than previous releases – ‘Pack Of Dogs‘ for instance is almost a singalong compared to ‘Networking Opportunity‘ which follows, sometimes feeling like an extreme noise version of something off of PixiesDoolittle, or, possibly more accurately, Trompe Le Monde.

There is some respite from the aural assault, however, on ‘Holiday Sea‘, though it does make you feel somewhat as though you’ve joined some kind of cult, its brief lyrics (“Urine, the ocean, a holiday sea. Pleasure, forgiveness is leisurely. To look is to wonder, to think is a sin / A pleasure, forgiveness, urine, the sea, a second glance, a thirds a stare, a wince at forever, a deliberate glare. The weight of it all will scupper your fall“) are spoken mantra-like, as though you’ve been initiated in a ceremony that you’re not entirely sure you understand. I know I don’t anyway, but I also know I like it. A lot.

I know a few people who have a punchbag in their garage. At any time they feel as though their voice isn’t being heard or anxious in some way, they’ll go and batter the crap out of it. It helps. Feel Worse is like that. A musical punchbag, if you will, though at times, you’ll hit it so hard that it’ll come back and smack you in the chops. A twisted celebration of the shitness of human beings in many ways, Feel Worse is a bittersweet triumph of self-mockery over adversity. Whatever that means.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.