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NOTS

“Once we really leaned into the space that being a three-piece afforded us, our writing started to make better sense and connect,” explains guitarist-keyboardist-vocalist Natalie Hoffmann. “It made for a more interesting record than if we stayed comfortable and safe in the way we were writing.”

“More interesting” is a classic hard undersell. When Alexandra Eastburn left nots in 2018, the threat of losing the gnarled texture or her hammering synth progressions resulted in some real growing pains for the band. But once the newly anointed threesome arrived at Bunker Audio in Memphis to record with trusted engineer and friend Andrew McCalla, each member had embraced nots fresh identity.

Rather than abandon the noisy synth attack, Hoffmann instead decided to add another role to her expanding sonic arsenal, painting the backgrounds of tracks like “Floating Hand” and “Half-Painted House” with melting buzzes and swirling waves that sound menacing and ominous at one turn and hypnotic and seductive at another. After the record began to take form, it felt much more accurate to understand 3 as a different force altogether from its Goner predecessors, Cosmetic (2016) and We Are Nots (2014).

Themes of lost control and societal division are spread throughout 3. They can be heard not only via Hoffmann’s reverb-drenched drawl, but also in the sneaky tightness between drummer Charlotte Watson and bassist Meredith Lones that occasionally (and quickly) devolves into a beautiful, reckless cacophony before shoring back up again (see opener “Low” as excellent proof).

Elsewhere, on cuts like “Persona” and “Rational Actor,” nots explore the loss of reality in performance and just how exhausting it can be to navigate the blurry line between playing an actor and playing human. It’s all pretty heady stuff, no doubt, but because nots tracked and recorded 3 live—as has been their way with all of their albums—they were also able to infuse it with what Hoffman describes as “an intensity and improvisational energy.”

So to what does that ultimately amount? A dark, unpredictable, raucous, liberating, and bold tour de force of a third record from the Memphis three—along with a strong impression that the best still yet to come.


TRACK LISTING

01. Low
02. Woman Alone
03. Floating Hand
04. In Glass
05. Persona
06. Half-Painted House
07. Rational Actor
08. Far Reaching Shadows
09. Surveillance Veil
10. Built Environment

Recorded with Keith Cooper and Andrew McCalla in the band’s home-town of Memphis, the album features artwork by lead vocalist / guitarist Natalie Hoffman.

Nots are still a wild guitar band, but above and below the guitar, bass and drum pound, Alexandra Eastburn's analog synth blurps melodies and nonsense, teasing squiggles of freedom which defy the false grid of modern life.

With Hoffmann on guitar & vocals, Eastburn on synth, Charlotte Watson beating drums, and Meredith Lones steering a solid path through the chaos on bass, Nots are neither content with the smug "stare at your shoes" approach of bands from both coasts, nor an Earth-hugging "we need to get back to nature" hippie copout. There might not be any answers here. That might be the point. Nots have arrived at the next level of their attack with a confidence and a music that lays waste to the wasteland without romantic attachment to a thing.

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: Channeling the spirit of early punk (distorted backline, shouty singer, 2 minute songs etc) Nots have presented us with a scathing collection of dynamic and vitriolic bursts of noise. Single-string melody lines and broken-speaker distortion back up the hollered vox. Clanging and concise, this is punk-rock for a new generation.

TRACK LISTING

1. Blank Reflection
2. Rat King
3. Cold Line
4. New Structures
5. Cosmetic
6. No Novelty
7. Inherently Low
8. Flourescent Sunset
9. Entertain Me

Nots

Reactor - Mikey Young Remix

    Ultra limited one sided white label 12".

    Remix by Mikey Young of Total Control!




    Milk N Cookies

    Not Enough Girls / Nots

      THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2014 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

      Milk n Cookies are the stuff of legends – or would be legends.

      Forming in the early 70s on Long Island, NY this power pop group was originally signed to Island Records and seemed destined for greatness. Yet through many cases of wrong place wrong time the band never managed to break. The core line up of the band was made up of Ian North, Justin Stauss, Sal Maida and Mike Ruiz and in their time they played classic NYC venues like CBGB’s & Max’s Kansas City and shared bills with everyone from Talking Heads to The Ramones.

      The band have amassed a cult following influencing the likes of Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) and Debbie Harry (Blondie).

      Consider this 7” a small taste of what’s to come from Captured Track’s deluxe 3xLP reissue.

      Limited to 100 copies for the UK and Ireland.


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