Album Review: Nots – 3
Best Tracks: Woman Alone, In Glass, Built Environment
Since 2011, this Memphis three-piece has been releasing gritty, noisy, yet somewhat experimental and trippy punk tunes while building a small following along the way. Some call them garage-punk, others say psychedelic-punk but for the sake of making things simple, Nots is a straight forward punk band at its core.
The album’s A-side kicks off with a nonchalant, laid-back ride along called ‘Low,’ fueled by a chugging bass line that serves as the song’s mover. It still gets the veins moving but does not reside in aggression and angst in the traditional sense of punk, though it still serves as a fantastic intro to the album.
‘Woman Alone’ is a song that swells with sound and emotion. The lyrics “What’s it like to be a subject analyzed” takes you into a world of unease that the singer feels comes with the territory of being female in American society. The trippy and experimental guitar tracks give this song its edge but flow inconceivably.
‘In Glass’ is another thrasher of dirty bass lines and hallucinatory noises that fit congruently with the direction of the song. Filled with chants and a stampede of a drum beat, it proves difficult to sit still, provoking the listener to move about in whatever rhythmic variation comes to mind.
3’s B-side starts off with ‘Half-Painted House,’ which comes off as a bit dry and repetitive but is still intriguing nonetheless. Maybe this was the intent with the lyrics “Take another pill to calm my mind” and “Make another drink to calm my mind,” in serving the purpose of showcasing the habitual actions one takes when relying on substances to function in an overstimulating world.
The second half of the album is not as intense as the first but still reigns in the grooves and punchy-ness while not overreaching. ‘Surveillance Veil’ still has the floor tom rumbles and dirty bass lines but with a bit more fluidity. The scorching guitar riffs that buzz and resonate with soaring bends chime with a dark resolution and carry the track on a life of its own. The album’s last track ‘Built Environment’ kind of ties things up as far as the structural theme of the record by providing a mix of everything from the release: clean pockets of organized noise, sporadic drum fills, echoing vocals, and galactic guitar effects.
3 is a great album by a phenomenal band that has just met my acquaintance. I will definitely be taking that adventurous stroll through their discography as they have made a lasting impression on me.