thu 20/01/2022

CD: NOTS - We Are NOTS | reviews, news & interviews



Fast and loud all-girl Memphis outfit deliver raging kicks

Raising Hell with NOTS

You want punk? You got it. The debut album from NOTS explodes into the room and all 11 songs fly by in a rampaging 27 minutes. The all-female quartet from Memphis have been signalling, via singles on their local scuzz-rock label Goner (home to Jay Reatard), that We Are NOTS would be taking no prisoners, and it lives up to such promise.

Producer Doug Easley, whose work with Sonic Youth and the White Stripes may have recommended him to the band, does not polish, he merely marshals their fury to a caustic, garage-buzz edge.

Occasionally NOTS recall long-lost British Eighties trash-goths We’ve Got A Fuzzbox And We’re Going To Use It, especially on the catchy opening cut “Insect Eyes” and the moany early-Bauhaus murk of “Black Mold”, but they’re simply too angry for the comparison to apply long. Their sound is grounded in bassist Madison Farmers’s Joy Division-esque low-end throb, which is placed up-front in the mix, giving every song a pogo dancefloor energy. This is assisted by the use of a synthesizer which adds a primitive psyche-rock derangement to songs such as “Decadence” and the spun-out album highlight “Reactor”, but it’s also used to drag songs into a hole of caterwauling noise in the penultimate song “Televangelist”.

There are occasions, such as on the 50 second shout-along “Get Along”, when NOTS recall goofy garage-punk pastiche fare such as Tarantino-favoured Japanese outfit The’s, but the strident, fuming vocals of singer Natalie Hoffman and the relentless drive of the music push such quibbles aside. Signed to Heavenly in the UK, NOTS have a European platform that most bands of their ilk don’t, so it would be a thrill if they invaded the world of wanna-be-major-label indie with their abrasive racket and were given a chance, via the acquisition of a significant fan-base, to develop further. In short, We Are NOTS is a visceral, thrilling debut that makes me want to know what happens next…

Overleaf: Watch the video for "Reactor"

It would be a thrill if they invaded the world of wanna-be-major-label indie with their abrasive racket


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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