Album Review: Priests- Nothing Feels Natural

image

Priests have been around for a few years now, but Nothing Feels Natural marks their first full-length album release. Originating from DC, they continue in the legacy of a long line of DC-based punk bands. This history is reflected in the band’s music, which evokes the sound of older punk and post-punk bands from the past. This connection does not mean their music sounds outdated however; on the contrary, this album feels fresh as ever. 

The album kicks off with the lines “You want some new brutalism?/You want something you can write home about,”  a powerful opening phrase that sets the tone for the remainder of the album. Opening track “Appropriate” starts off as a solid opener before dropping off in momentum towards the end of the song, however things pick back up again after this song. “Pink White House” feels highly relevant in current times with it’s take down of American culture and the electoral system. ­­

Other highlights from the album include catchy “Jj,” a biting dismissal in song form, and “No Big Bang,” a personal favorite of mine, with (mostly) spoken word vocals, and a repeating guitar riff carrying the song through. Title track “Nothing Feels Natural” didn’t make much of an impression on me at first listen, but quickly grew to be a standout song on repeat plays. The one gripe I have with the album would be the track “Puff,” which just comes across as slightly grating and irritating. 

The band’s musical talents are clear on this album, with skillful guitar work and powerful drumming. Frontwoman Katie Greer’s vocals, somewhat reminiscent of Kathleen Hanna, are definitely one of the biggest assets of the band. 

Priests show a great deal of promise on what is only their first album. Already they show an ability to experiment and expand within the traditional confines of their genre. Hopefully any future output from them will continue this level of quality work.

Bandcamp / Website / Tumblr

-Noah Prince

Check out more music and news from Rainy Dawg Radio @ RainyDawg.org!

Artist Profile: Naomi Punk

Naomi Punk is a post-punk band from Olympia, WA. But to classify them as such does not do their music justice, as it doesn’t seem to fit into any particular mold. It has to be listened to be understood, and even then I sometimes notice myself discovering new layers to their sound with each time I play one of their records.

It may be cliché to say that an artist’s music grows on you, but in the case of Naomi Punk it’s just true. When I first listened to their debut The Feeling on a recommendation from a friend, I was unconvinced. The album sounded thrown together, its melodies buried under distortion and its lyrics indiscernible. But as I listened to it again I began to notice myself humming along and my foot tapping more and more enthusiastically.

Once I grew familiar with the sound of the album it became contagious. Naomi Punk had already been playing together and touring for a couple years before The Feeling was recorded, and the live energy of the band can be felt throughout the album. The songs all have a unique character to them, and yet on the whole the album feels very solidly like a singular conception. Apart from two tracks based around a synthesizer, the songs are driven only by two guitars and a set of drums, and sound like they could have all been recorded in the same take. This gives The Feeling a familiar and cohesive sound that you learn to appreciate more with each listen.

The band’s follow up, Television Man, was released in August of this year and has a very similar quality to The Feeling. While not as immediately rewarding as their debut, Television Man has many layers of its own and is at times equally engaging. After two solid releases, Naomi Punk feels like a band with a ton of potential and one that would be an incredible live experience. After all, the band has its roots on stage, not in the studio.

Picking out a standout track is difficult because my favorite from them changes practically every time I hear one of their albums, but a good place to start would be “The Spell” off The Feeling:

Editor’s Note: Naomi Punk’s website can be found here: http://naomipunkmusicgroup.com/
They don’t have any music there, however, so you’re best off just heading to their record label’s page, Captured Tracks, or their Facebook

image
Jamie Coughlin