French hardcore – two words that don’t usually conjur up images of anything particularly inspiring but, a quick visit to the journalists best friend (Google) brings up comparisons to bands like Cancer Bats and Every Time I Die, so maybe the forty minutes spent in the company of this album might not be so bad after all?

Anyway, rubbish attempt at sarcasm aside, you know you’re going to be onto a good thing when the opening track of the album, “Hopeless Knights”, snaps into life and you find yourself listening to something that, yep, does fit nicely in with the punk/rock/metal/hardcore cocktails usually served up by the aforementioned Cancer Bats. Fizzing with the sort of chaos that sits just nicely on the right side of controlled, Vera Cruz split their time between chuggy metallic hardcore and punky bursts of well, just fuckin’ rage. Unashamedly raucous, the likes of “Open Your Eyes” and the brilliant “Break The Lies” snap at your heels like a really vicious dog. You know, the sort of creature that is foaming at the mouth with unbridled energy and one you just know could do some serious damage should they really clamp hold.

On the downside, there is little on Skinandteethandnails that you won’t have heard if you haven’t already treated your ears to the delights of the Cancer Bats but, then again, can you really have enough of the sort of punk-metallic-hardcore that bands like Cancer Bats and their ilk churn out? Packed venues and bloody pits would say no so maybe Skinandteethandnails is the album that will give the French hardcore scene their piece of that particularly popular pie because, although it’s hardly a groundbreaking piece of work, the snarling energy certainly packs enough of a punch to grab your attention.

Track Listing:

01. Hopeless Knights
02. The Last Of A Dying Breed
03. The Family
04. Black Walls
05. Open Your Eyes
06. The Last Parade
07. Break The Lies
08. Dunwich
09. Walk Alone
10. Last Call
11. American Psycho

Run Time: 39:09
Release Date: November 16, 2012

Check out the song “Dunwich”


I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.