Nots – “We Are Nots” (Goner, 11/11/2014)
Nots are a 4-piece, all female band out of Memphis, Tennessee signed to brilliant local label, Goner Records. Their debut album, “We Are Nots”, is a great slice of proto-punk/garage typical of much of the Goner roster, sprinkled with liberal doses of new wave geekery and post-punk gloom.
Nots come out of the gates, guns blazing from the off, with slightly-hinged opener “Insect Eyes’” throbbing bass line and off-kilter keyboards. The band combine garage, pre-hardcore punk and early post-punk with spazzy, 80s slasher movie soundtrack keyboard bursts; similar to Grotesque-era The Fall or newer acts like thegrindinghalt favorite (and label mates), Ausmuteants. While there are definite UK influences to be heard throughout, I also caught myself hearing Static Age-era Misfits and early Samhain, particularly the sound of the drums and bass (plus song titles like “Static” and “Insect Eyes”!) – but maybe I was under the influence of my inner Danzig.
The pace is unrelenting throughout, the band slaloming through the album’s eleven tracks with hardly pause for breath – at 3:54, “Reactor” is nearly prog-like in length by comparison. The guitar/synth screed and churning, tribal drumming of “Black Mold” and “Televangelist” serve as the only slight “respite” from the full-throttle bursts of tracks like “Decadence” and “Get Along”. The album feels over before it even began, a delicious memory after being beaten ‘round the head repeatedly – and before the headache sets in.
Nots are the latest in long line of exciting new bands from all over – many of which happen to also be comprised mostly (or completely) by women – fusing some combo of punk/garage and nerd wave/post-punk: Vexx and Priests in the US, Good Throb and Slum of Legs in the UK, the aforementioned Aussies, Ausmuteants, and Mourn from Spain. Check them out on their Facebook page, or buy a shirt at their online shop – ’tis the season!
Highlights include: Decadence, Televangelist, Static, Insect Eyes.