“A Pounding Final Assault”
I have actually never been a big fan of Nuclear Assault. Maybe because the first thing I ever heard was the track Hang the Pope which I still think is a horrible track, and that consequently held me from exploring the band. However after the EP was announced and I heard some more of their music, I was intrigued to really explore the band. Nonetheless, this mini-album was a positive surprise and I even managed to catch the band on tour, performing a great concert!
This little EP is kicked off by the title-track which is a fine little nod to the old days and how thrash metal has survived throughout the years. Overall, it is a nice opener and sets a good mood for the short amount of time this record lasts for. Lies is lyrically something you could’ve seen back in the ’80s as well, as you’re supposed to open your eyes and see beyond the so called lies. Musically it is the track I favour the least on this EP, as it’s not as interesting or well composed as the other songs. The last two tracks are actually my favourites. Analog Man in a Digital World features a really catchy chorus which could work great live is the crowd is familiar with the track. The lyrics are mostly spot on for me personally with passages like “Nifty little gadget you’ve got running your world, tell me when’s the last time that you spoke to a girl?“. But contrary to another part of the lyrics, I must admit I love myself a good amount of gaming whether online or not. A bit of Duke Nukem 3D never hurt anybody. At first glance, the last track’s title led my thoughts towards Cutting Crew’s classic, but of course the two tracks are two different things. Anyway. Died in Your Arms definitely stands out from the rest of the EP with its more melancholic and gloomy feel, both in music and lyrics. On that track those two aspects definitely support each other greatly, and is also why I would say it is the best track off “Pounder”.
Production-wise it sounds like you’ve been invited into Nuclear Assault’s rehearsal room, you’ve taken a seat on the couch with a cold one, and then just enjoy the show. The analogue vs. digital thing definitely shines through on the production, which is not a coincidence. It doesn’t sounds as good as past offerings from the band’s heydays. For one, I think the snare could’ve been nurtured a bit more. John Connelly’s vocals sounds really good and is not even close to being a point-of-complaint from me. To give you a quick overlook, “Pounder” is definitely better than “Third World Genocide”, but I wouldn’t say that it is on-par with for example, “The Plague”. It is a solid last offering where it would’ve been nice with some more material, but maybe it is a case of “less is more”. Hardcore fans can enjoy it and so can newer fans.