So old-school we nearly gave ourselves detention for not concentrating in class, Nuclear Assault have unlocked the door to the past and made Thrash feel thrillingly vital and alive again on their first release in 10 long years! A live feel seeps through each and every one of Pounder‘s 4 tracks, complete with Glenn Evans’ sticks counting the band in, and the calculated sheen that over polishes much of Modern Thrash is refreshingly absent. Instead, we have four die-hard Thrashers simply plugging in and Thrashin’ the f*ck out; the result may not be perfect but it sure does get the blood pumping!
“Analogue Man In A Digital World” sums up this longing for the glories of the past and Pounder truly takes you back to those heady days in the early to mid 80’s when Thrash was changing the face of Heavy Metal. It may be hypocritical of us as an online magazine to bemoan modern technology’s stranglehold on creativity but there is a sense of discovery and anticipation missing in a world where everything is available at the touch of a button. Pounder feels like a return to the days when you queued for hours to pick up that new album you just had to have and is a warts an’ all Thrashing from the past that screams we don’t give a f*ck in your wrinkly old face!
“Pounder” and “The Blind Follow (AKA Lies)” are classic Nuke tracks, the kind of involuntary headbangers that nestled nicely on their genre-defining albums Game Over and Handle With Care while John Connelly’s rarely heard baritone even brings to mind Jim Morrison on the mid-tempo stomp of “Died In Your Arms”, a contrast to his unmistakable high-end rasp and a fitting end to an EP that sears and scalds with 100% Thrashing authenticity.
If this really is the beginning of the end for Nuclear Assault then they are going out with a bang the size of an atomic bomb. Nostalgia can be dangerous and can easily cloud judgment but it truly is great to have these veterans back and Pounder ain’t no quarter pounder, it’s not even a half pounder, it’s the full on meaty deal Thrash fans and it’s pretty damn fulfilling 8/10