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 This connection does not mean their music sounds outdated however; on the contrary, this album feels fresh as ever.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.