13 Nails – American Grindhouse

By: Jeremy Fleischer

2 out of 5 stars

Fort Collins horror rock band 13 Nails hope to scare the bejeezus out of you with their first LP, American Grindhouse. And to that end, they succeed. Songs with titles like “Screams From The Grave” and “Dead Girls Like to Party” are abrasive scream tracks that balance the line between all out noise and solid groove-riff punk. It’s chaotic, menacing, teeming with horror movie imagery, and a hell of a lot of fun — if you’re into that sort of thing. For most listeners, this music will impart a deep sense of unease, at the very least. For the especially tender-eared, this will send folks running for the safe haven of folk music about the prairie.

For 13 Nails, theater is as important as music. Like Grindhouse movies, this is about kitsch and shock over art. On American Grindhouse, the band has some sweet Misfits-esque punk riffs, but the horror show always takes center stage, and that’s the point. To judge 13 Nails on musicality alone — ignoring the make-up and deathly antics, which is necessarily stripped away on an album — they fall short. But live, it’s a glorious feast of horror pageantry, and these songs are in their natural element.

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