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EP Review: The Nics – Attack!

The Nics are one of those bands who I saw live when I was out reviewing someone else and they massively impressed me. In fact I got to review them not long after that, so you can check that review here if you wanted to get an idea of what I’m talking about.

Anyway it feels like it has been an absolute age coming but we finally have some brand new music to wrap our ears around. So kick back and grab a coffee while I give you the breakdown.

The thing that I love most out this band is that they are under absolutely no illusions about what they are. They make old fashioned balls to the wall hard rock and metal and it’s as simple as that. They’re not chasing any fads and make no compromises on their sound, Attack! is a perfect showcase of exactly what they are.

The ball is set rolling on what is a feast of crashing drums and whirling guitars by the mighty Addiction. The Rumbling guitars and drums roll which signal the tracks arrival just ramp up the anticipation for when that main riff hits. You can hear the old school Metallica and Pantera influence coursing through the veins of this one and as a fan of both bands I have no problem with that at all. This isn’t so much an opening track, as a statement of intent.

Having said all of that Stone Cold Killer opens with a series of drum rolls and a slow guitar melody; think Metallica Nothing Else Matters and you won’t be a million miles away. However all of the subtlety is quickly thrown out of the window by a barrage of heaving riffs and hard as hell rhythms. Mac Smith’s vocal style is pretty unique in as much as he doesn’t sing the lyrics as venomously launch them into the world. While one of the things that really drew me to the band in the first place was the guitar work and the solo here is absolutely killer.

Following track Hearts Get Broken is another glorious throwback of a tune. By now you know exactly what you’re going to get with the band and there aren’t any surprises. The sections where the main guitar riff is interjected with short bursts of bass are a little different though and are a nice touch. I have got one little issue with the song though and that’s the ending. There’s nothing wrong with using a fade out but here the fade just feels really abrupt, and kind of kills the track dead.

This is a minor glitch however as the band swiftly move back into top gear with the brilliantly menacing intro to In Plain Sight. The guitar riff on that intro is slow and soaring but when the main body of the song kicks in all hell breaks loose as the band sets off at breakneck speed. The drums from Skitt are hammered out in piston like fashion while the vocal is delivered is typically rapid fire style. The real highlight here though is the guitar solo; it’s classically metal in feel and exquisitely delivered. Mr Vickers I doth my cap to you sir.

This speaker breaker of a record is rounded out by Woman. I remember seeing the band perform this one live and it was crazy, guitar thrashing, drum crashing fun of the highest order. A brief stomping intro soon gives way to another runaway train of a tune featuring all of the things which makes this EP such a great listen.

Personally I’m a big fan of this band and by design also of this EP. However I can fully understand why some of you might not get it. The band really aren’t for big rock/metal hooks and their sound overall is more throwback than cutting edge. But as I have said plenty of times when appraising a project context is everything. How can you criticise a band for their lack of choruses or cutting edge modern sound if that’s not what they have tried to do? The Nics make old school hard/metal which will test your speakers as well as your neighbour’s patience. I’m pretty sure they’re aware that their sound isn’t exactly the most commercial so it would be stupid to criticise them for it.

In light of that I’d say that if you’re a fan of The Nics already, you’ll love this EP no question, and if you’re into your old school Metllica and Pantera then again you’ll be all over this record.

Attack! is The Nics being their hard hitting, killer riff creating, hard rocking, fun having fun selves and I for one applaud them for that. Don’t try and be someone else, just be yourself on a great day, and that’s exactly The Nics have done. This is EP is killer.

Now will you excuse me while I go and see how loud I can play In Plain Sight before the police get called…

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