Friday, January 23, 2015

NOTS : We Are Nots

Memphis four-piece NOTS started releasing material in 2013 and follow two singles with their first full length recently on Goner.  ‘We Are Nots’ is forged from a penchant for wild synth punk polished over the course of touring.  The album packs the same punch as the singles whilst tightening the bolts with sharper production so every element comes to the fore with unflinching clarity.  NOTS sound strong and feverish with ferocious drive made up by Natalie Hoffman’s errant guitar, Alexandra Eastburn’s forthright synth waves, prowling bass lines from Madison Farmer and the dogged rhythms of Charlotte Watson.  The eleven frantic songs clock in at around 25 minutes opening with ‘Insect Eyes’, a demented cyber stomper setting the pace for the record.  ‘Reactor’ leaps out with its stormy approach and a chorus that high-jacks your brain, just try and stop spinning it in your head!  ‘Black Mold’ plays out unshakeable vocals, chugging guitars, melody heavy bass and siren synths making it another track stuck on repeat for me.   With tour dates approaching with Parquet Courts it feels like NOTS are already gathering momentum for whatever 2015 has to throw at them.   ‘We Are Nots’ is a radical force to be reckoned with making this a great album to lose your mind to.


Friday, January 9, 2015

Chris Brokaw : The Periscope Twins


Hissing and spluttering envelop the opening to Chris Brokaw’s ‘The Periscope Twins’ (12XU).  This latest LP from Brokaw is comprised of two 40-45 minute solo pieces mastered by Bob Weston, the first is noise and lead in track ‘The Periscope Kids Are Out on The Skids, My Love (Part 1 & 2)’ reveals the effect recent explorations of abstract forms with Stephen O’Malley (Sunn O))) ), David Michael Curry (the Willard Grant Conspiracy) and Alex Hacke (Einsturzende Neubauten) have had on his approach to industrial experimentalism.   The spine of Side A is a choked exhaust - trapping one as it veers on then off track alongside manipulated scarce and wild signals.  As this first piece nebulously spins out it becomes entirely mesmeric resolving itself by pulling back into focus with propelled spits and spurts.  Flipping over, Side B involves meditative electric guitar wanderings on ‘Skating Under Glass, Living Like A King’ and ‘Do You Really Want to Know What That Means?  Do You Really Want to Know What That Means’.  Balmy plucks and strums breeze across pale chirps in stark contrast to what was on the reverse of the record.  ‘The Periscope Twins’ rounds off just as immersive as it started swapping agitated noise for sublime trances of reflective guitar work.  The whole album was done in one take with no overdubs and the instinctive approach to the songs really show that.  Employing a sense of being hypnotized and absorbed by the songs in polar opposite ways makes ‘The Periscope Twins’ two sides of the same coin.  Clocking up 15 albums now Brokaw continues to push further, go deeper and totally thrill.

Hear some of the record and buy HERE