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We Are Nots, by Nots

Slow songs are overrated

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

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