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I've made no bones about my admiration for Norwegian hardcore. It appears I'm not alone, either. In May Arabrot completed their second US tour in as many years - no small feat for an artist so noisy and, frankly, weird.

By contrast, Nag are pretty straightforward. Like many bands on Fysik Format, they blend noisy hardcore with treble-heavy overtones indebted to black metal and a general wiseass attitude. To wit, there's a song on their upcoming self-titled album called "What is Punk?" that opens with a solid twenty seconds of orthodox black metal, dissonant harmony and all, before dropping into a chuggy mosh riff. Unlike most of their contemporaries, however, Nag sound like they care about energizing their listeners . Which isn't to say expect snapback ball caps and picking up pennies. Rather, general mosh-friendliness is the name of the day, even if it's framed with artiness and despair. "Back to the Castle," streaming below, alternates between d-beats and just plain putting the hammer down.

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Nag is out on September 2 via Fysik Format. Follow Nag on Facebook.

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