Fingernails – Fingernails LP


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The history of extreme metal in Italy cannot be told without acknowledging the primacy of Fingernails. Formed in Rome, in 1981, by guitarist and songwriter Maurizio “Angus” Bidoli, they started off playing more traditional heavy metal but swiftly shifted toward speed metal before they began recording. After a few years of local gigging, they unleashed a barrage of five demos between 1984 and 1987. Like their closest sonic antecedents, Motörhead and Tank, Fingernails operated as a three-piece, eschewing gimmickry and relying instead on raw passion and unadorned instrumentation. By the time they entered the studio to record their self-titled debut for Cobra Records, they had finely tuned their sound: a lethal speedball of rock n’ roll depravity, manic thrash, punk rock recklessness, and Italian street metal sleaze, delivered with venomous precision. Accompanying Bidoli for the LP were drummer Ricky “Duracell” Lipparini, who played on the demos, and Chris Bianco—known for his work in the heavy metal band Raff—who replaced Fingernails’ previous bassist, Marco “Bomber” Santoni, just before recording the album. (Bidoli’s and Santoni’s nickname nods to AC/DC and Motörhead provided a not-so-subtle indicator of the band’s strongest influences.) The albumcaptures perfectly their lewd belligerence, with the debauched carnality of Bidoli’s guitars and vocals driven by the prowling, predatory aggression of the bass and drums. After its release in 1988, Cobra Records failed to pay the royalties it owed the band pursuant to their agreement, and, before long, the label went under, leaving the record under-promoted and poorly distributed. Amid the waning popularity of speed metal catalyzed by the rapid ascent of death and black metal, as well as grunge, Fingernails could not get a foothold in the scene, and the band folded a few years later. Still, the strength of their debut LP was such that it secured Fingernails cult status, eventually inspiring Bidoli to resurrect the band in the early 2000s. Through the decades, Fingernails’ self-titled LP has become a sought-after relic, and NWN! is honored to present this classic album on vinyl for the first time since its initial release. As a bonus, the Die-Hard edition comes with a patch, sticker, and an extra 7” containing the band’s song from the “Lethal Noise (A Blade Sample)” compilation, released in 1988 by the short-lived punk label, Amtel Blade, as well as a previously unreleased studio track from the same year and two live recordings.