Musicwise I grew up in the '90s. Unlike my peers I did not enjoy the punk of that time (Green Day and The Offspring), nor grunge. In fact I only recently discovered that a couple of the bands stemming from that scene are worth my time. Instead of those influences I grew up on a steady diet of '80s metal and hardrock. I am sharing this with you because I think it explains why I just love it when a band knows how to utilize echoes on the vocals. Nag is one of those bands. The moment the singer opened his mouth I was on board.
Nag (when coming up with the band name they did not consider searchability I guess…) is a band from Norway. Nagged To Death is their second full length. Their self titled debut from 2016 past me by unnoticed I am afraid. A good comparison I can not make, but a quick listen on Bandcamp tells me that Nag did not radically alter their sound. Nagged To Death reminds me bit of Hits #1, the debut of Icelandic Pink Street Boys. They employed a completely broken sound (also with heaps and heaps of echo on the vocals), a sound that was deliberately created. Where Pink Street Boys come from a punk background, Nag takes a different route. They take the hardcore route. A route that takes short detours into black metal (of the Darkthrone variant), crust and d-beat. A violent and explosive mix; the main ingredient being hardcore, the other genres just serve to spice things up a bit. This mixture is very big, loud and very energetic; even more so due to the fitting production! Unfortunately there’s also a downside to a production like this: it’s tiring to listen to, it’s just so loud! No matter how much I enjoy Nagged To Death, I can not listen to this album a couple times in a row. I need something else after one spin.
On the song-writing I am ambivalent. The big pro I see is that Nag knows how to keep a song interesting. Tempo changes are not unusual in these songs. This keeps you on the edge of your seat. Therefore it surprises me a bit that the lyrics could use a bit more work. The refrains of a couple of songs is little more than repeating the song title a couple of times. There’s only a couple of bands that can get away with that and I am afraid Nag is not one of them.
Some music can get you in a certain mood. Nagged To Death is one of those albums that can do just that for you. If you could use some good friendly violent fun, this might be for you. It is harsh music, but somehow you can hear this Norwegian trio had fun creating all this noise. And that is much appreciated! Curious: check out "Sigh"!
7.0 / 10
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