Nasty By Nature
Here’s an Irish band I’ve been getting my gnashers into recently. Nasty By Nature is the debut outing from this Kildare quartet consisting of Mick Mahon (vocals), Adrian Foley (guitar), Rud Holohan (bass) and Fran Moran (drums).
I don’t know a great deal about these guys and I’m kinda glad of it; able to approach this debut ten-track affair with an open mind. But believe me, after you’ve leant an ear to this record you might not have any matter left.
This is an explosive rock record with a cover straight out of the 1980s, and while the band most certainly has that nod to the halcyon days this is very much a solid, ballsy heavy metal album that restores my faith in this current wave of trends and wannabes. Indeed, Stereo Nasty is a mighty fine band with the ability to write instantly catchy songs which, if I’m to be descriptive, take the best parts of AC/DC, Accept, and more so W.A.S.P. – especially in the vocals – and lace them in their own fiery blend of nostalgic metal.
But this isn’t a combo merely reliant on paying homage. Instead, we get a set of pummelling tunes beginning with the contagious ‘Black Widow’, which is probably one of the best songs I’ve heard by a new band this side of the millennium; featuring a crunching riff, a thrashy edge and above all Mick Mahon’s vocals which have a strong, blazing air of Blackie Lawless (W.A.S.P.) about them. Indeed, the chorus to ‘Black Widow’ is very much a homage to the shock rocker’s ‘Wild Child’ in its melody. But it’s far from being just a tribute; the drums crash hard, the bass slams and the guitars fizz – giving the song an almost nifty air rather than being lumbering or thin.
And from here on the band marches through a set of excellent numbers sure to have you head-banging along; ‘Holy Terror’ boasts another razor-sharp riff and ‘Interstellar’ lives up to it title. With its thudding drum entrance, the latter is one of the albums finest moments; accompanied by a heavy, sizzling riff the track is a mid-paced plodder of such guile and quality that you’d be forgiven for thinking that this was a veteran act in the height of its career.
Stereo Nasty is a band capable of great things and labels should be snapping at their heels. Those still not convinced by my review need only tune in to ‘The Fear’ with its brooding passages and chugging fires. And the quality just keeps on coming as solos bombard the listener, harking back to that classic New Wave Of British Heavy Metal sound with the hellish ‘Death Machine’ and the mid-paced fluency of ‘Under Her Spell’.
Stereo Nasty is proof that a band can take influence from the 80s and inject their own identity, propelled by the natural powerhouse vocalisations of Mahon and fellow chief Foley who brings a fizz and arrogance on board. But let us not overlook the part Holohan and Moran play; the bass is a major player here working in tandem with crisp percussion that just bring the tracks to life.
‘The Warriors’ has hints of classic Thin Lizzy in its groove as Mahon rasps “We’re not the only game in town”. But believe me, Stereo Nasty is the only game worth seeing; breathing new life into a scene that was quickly becoming stagnant. And with ‘Demon Halo’ delivering the knockout blow I’m confident enough to say that Nasty By Nature is one of the albums of the year by a long shot. At once gnarly but instant, and fiery but nifty, Stereo Nasty is the perfect predator to grab you by the throat and shake you to your foundations.
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