Nots is a gathering storm. The punk quartet has steadily gained strength on several fronts since their debut single about a year ago. Drawing from a wellspring of punk-driven fury, Nots has coalesced in sound and intent into one of Memphis' fast-track bands. The four members bring an array of musical experiences that combine into a twister of synths, shrieks, and forceful rhythms. Their set on Beale Street for a Goner event last year sent jaws to the floor. Their new album, We Are Nots, brings their force into focus.
The previous EP on Goner, Dust Red, found the group testing out the weaponry. There is an unsettling drive to their early material. Not only do Charlotte Watson drums move the front forward, singer Natalie Hoffmann belts a fractured urgency into the din. It's fine punk rock. Nots has made strides in producing their latest record. We Are Nots is better bolted-down than the early stuff. That's a good thing. Engineer Doug Easley knows precisely how to direct the energy, especially Alexandra Eastburn's synths, which add an important depth to the often-bland palette of punk sounds. Pitchfork and Stereogum have taken notice and featured the single "Decadence." If their trajectory seems similar to that of former Goner band Ex-Cult, there may be some truth to it. Hoffmann was formerly in Ex-Cult. Bassist Madison Farmer is the publicist for Goner. Adding Easley and the Goner machine to the band's stirring live shows sums up to a potent force. Look out.
Nots is headed out on tour. They will get a lot of attention and deserve it. They kick things off on Saturday, November 8th, at the Buccaneer. We Are Nots comes out on November 11th on Goner Records.