Nasty – Heartbreak Criminals

Nasty – Heartbreak Criminals
Century Media
Release Date: 08/09/2023
Running Time: 28:00
Review by Rory Bentley
7/ 10

Nasty are a band that does exactly what is said on the tin. Despite “Heartbreak Criminals” opening with a lilting Eastern-sounding ambient intro, opening track proper ‘Roses’ is the real sonic territory where we’ll be spending the next 28 minutes. Pummelling beatdowns and chest beating vocals are the main order of the day here and while there’s nothing groundbreaking on display, Nasty do it with such sizzle and conviction that it’s hard not to love, particularly if you’re a shaven headed tattooed chunky lad like I am! 

‘Reality Check’ picks up the pace and goes into more Crossover Thrash territory while dialling the gang vocals up to 11. There’s more snap and bounce to this one and it left me bobbing my head like a Flat Eric puppet (ask someone who grew up in the 90s, kids) which is the mark of a good Hardcore album in my book. The crisp production job really helps to bring each crunchy hook to the fore, as displayed on the precision-guided double bass work on ‘911’ which will rather aptly have you dialling an ambulance by the time you’re done with it. This sharp, bright mix is fortunately just the right side of slick where it doesn’t detract from the intensity of the band’s performances. ‘Total Domination’ for example, has a positively vile slowed down stomping section at the end that is about as mean as modern Hardcore gets.

In terms of curveballs it’s rather slim pickings, however there are a few tricks up the band’s sleeve that you may not expect. Despite the front end of the song seemingly being precision engineered to remove all the skin from your face and destroy what little neck cartilage you have left at this point, the title track breaks out into a big old sing song like it’s A Day To Remember before they became embarrassingly shit. Your mileage with Easycore music may vary, I know mine does but this is a well done and welcome bit of variety on a record that otherwise stays in its lane for the most part. In fact it’s a shame that this aspect of their sound isn’t explored a little more and that they feel the need to immediately return to hitting you with a sledgehammer even if the likes of ‘More Fire’ and ‘Nobody Cares’ are admittedly great slabs of two-step fodder.

‘Kiss From A Rose’ (not that one) is the only other example of a deviation from the brass knuckle template, with more clean vocals this time deftly interspersed with the harsh barks and scalding riffs, making for an album standout. Once again,the band immediately reverts to type with the two tracks that close out the record, ‘Declaring War’ and ‘Chaos’, but they’re beefy and badass enough that you can’t be too disappointed that the wheel hasn’t been reinvented.

Overall “Heartbreak Criminals” is a ferociously-executed, crisp slice of Metallic Hardcore that delivers exactly what it promises. This is a record that I would definitely recommend to those that need their fix of meat and potatoes, no-nonsense spin-kick jams, however in an era where bands in the genre are smashing through boundaries and pushing heavy music to new territories this is more satisfying than it is seminal.

01. Intro
02. Roses
03. Reality Check
04. 911
05. Total Domination
06. Heartbreak Criminals
07. Resurrection
08. More Fire
09. Nobody Cares
10. Don‘t Play With Fire
11. Kiss from a Rose
12. Declaring War
13.  Chaos

Matthi – vocals
Paddy – guitars
Berry – bass
Nash – drums


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rory Bentley and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.