Any band that says they’re punk but then tries to sneak in a slow song — imposters. If you’re looking for authentic, brazen punk, the four women in Nots have it.
There’s a bold intensity to debut We Are Nots, fueled by youthful abandon. That lack of fear drives young music and ideas — it’s what makes punk rock relevant. If you listen to “Dust Red” from Nots' earlier seven-inch, their garage sound was muffled in darkness and desolateness. It’s good to hear that for We Are Nots, they’ve turned on the lights and swept away the lo-fi scuzz dust.
With the blazing opener “Insect Eyes,” Nots display their signature sound, although they sometimes veer off with indie-rock melodics, as on “Strange Rage.” Besides strong showings by bassist Madison Farmer and guitarist Natalie Hoffmann, Charlotte Watson’s drumming is delivered machine-gun style, and Alexandra Eastburn’s synth layers a pall of creature-feature blackness over it all.
Most tracks on We Are Nots surpass the punk-approved two-minute mark, but that’s a bonus here, allowing Nots to deliver complete ideas. “Reactor,” clocking in at nearly four minutes — eons for a punk song — is not overdone, but a few more minutes of fun.
It’s exciting to hear these four Memphis women blasting up such a hardcore sound from the underground. Not what you’d call “a breath of fresh air,” though, this gust is pungent with sex and sweat, and you just can’t get enough.
- Album: We Are Nots
- Artist: Nots
- Label: Goner Records
- Songs: (1) Insect Eyes (2) Decadence (3) Reactor (4) Strange Rage (5) Get Along (6) Black Mold (7) Static (8) Monochromatic (9) White Noise (10) Televangelist (11) Talk Show