You CVLT Nation readers are a lucky bunch –not only are you about to discover Nailhouse, one of the best kept secrets of Australia’s underground, but you also get to hear exclusive tracks from one of the most anticipated demos (at least from those in the know) of the year. Their long overdue demo drops on the 20th of August, but you lucky fucks get to preview two songs; the incredibly dark yet hook laden “Stained” and an oppressively masochistic number titled “Hit Me.”
Newcastle, Australia: a working class industrial town still living in the shadow of economic decline and high rates of unemployment. The general population is typified by white suburban bigotry and a tendency towards alcohol-related violence. It is perhaps surprising, then, that it is also a creative hub fostering one of Australia’s more interesting and, in my opinion, important music scenes. Whilst best known for embarrassing big name rock bands like Silverchair, it has also produced a healthy hardcore scene in the mid 1990’s that still holds a cult-like status today, and currently fosters what I think is one of the most vital and innovative scenes in the country.
One of the newest bands spawned from this creative cesspool is Nailhouse. Nailhouse draw on a wide range of influences, but the one that shines through the strongest is arguably Australia’s greatest cultural export (ever!) – The Birthday Party. Bands imitating The Birthday Party are nothing new, especially in Australia, but what sets Nailhouse apart is how darn tasteful and appropriate the execution of this influence is. Not content to make cheesy swamp rock as most bands imitating the Birthday Party tend to, Nailhouse slow things down to a crushing, Swans-esque crawl that oozes with self-loathing and social inadequacy. Myles Llewellyn’s barked vocals come from a place of genuine pain, not the staged melodramatics that often plague the underground. The duel guitars are as much influenced by German industrial acts like Einstürzende Neubauten and no wave and art punk bands like Mars or No Trend as the angular blues developed by Rowland S. Howard in The Birthday Party. These guys aren’t afraid of making noise for noise’s sake when it’s necessary, but also have a knack for melody and hooks. Nailhouse prove themselves to be serious connoisseurs of music, as well as possessing the right kind of dysfunctional personalities that drive all truly powerful punk music.
This demo is incredibly limited and will more than likely be going for big bucks on Discogs by the time the year is out. If dark avante garde post punk is your thing, you can pre-order their demo cassette here.