Nice Hooves - Nice Hooves (Cover Artwork)

Nice Hooves

Nice Hooves (2013)

No Rest Until Ruin

Nice Hooves are grown men, making music that sounds like they have grown-man issues. Burns, scars, open wounds, pissing blood, bad jobs, blue collar lives, terrible ex-girlfriends and drinking problems. It's cold, it's dark, it's heavy and it's riddled with the angst of Detroit's dirtiest days. Written and performed by Aaron Jones, Randall Kupfer, Kenny Szymanski Tony Wolski and Dave Graw, respectively.

Graw howls Detroit's native voice of despair with sawdust in its throat over well-crafted, passionate machine gun rhythm and guitar work that could set fires. The album is one Molotov cocktail after another being launched, smashing and exploding track to track. It never lets up the pace or scales back the noise up until static, squeal and a plunking piano close out the record. Track four, "Play Jazz" yields what could be considered the single for this debut LP, being possibly the easiest on the ears and a bit closer to the hearts our youth. But the video that comes with this song is a representation of the album as a whole captured in a short film. The video carries the tone of the record and keeps the images flickering for days to come, making you want to experience it all again.

There are glimpses of many genres laced in to the musicianship on this self-titled debut. It's too heavy to be punk, it's too melodic to be "noise," the vocals are too true and raw to be metal. Nice Hooves are a subtle, genre-bending hardcore band with a feel that should be familiar to the unshaven man in all of us. Though some judges might be quick to label the sound, further listening reveals the talent, creativity and clever work in each minute of the record.

We could call attention to similarities such as Clutch, High on Fire, The Bronx, Black Flag or Isis, but Nice Hooves stand alone breathing the frigid air of Detroit's urban tundra with a flask in their back pocket and a car fire to keep warm.