Release Date: Sep 9, 2016
Record label: Goner Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
At its inception, punk wasn’t just an attack on ’70s rock excess but on the very idea of entertainment. By holding up a mirror shard to society’s ills, punk’s message was that entertainment-as-escapism was a luxury we could no longer afford. When the E-word is dropped in a punk context, it hits like an F-bomb—from Gang of Four’s Entertainment! to Sleater-Kinney’s “Entertain,” the sentiment is dripping in sarcasm and spite.
Memphis-based foursome Nots described themselves as "weird punk" on the release of their debut album, We Are Nots, in 2014. Two years later, Nots sound a bit more ambitious and accomplished on their sophomore effort, 2016's Cosmetic, but thankfully they're no less weird than they were before. Cosmetic finds the band sounding tighter and better focused on most of these nine songs, and a few of the sharper edges in Natalie Hoffmann's guitar work have softened along the way.
For anyone who thought this Memphis all-female quartet’s debut, 2014’ We Are Nots, was a fluke….nope it wasn’t. They come back hard and a bit more focused on this terrific sophomore effort. 9 songs in just under 35 minutes and right from the start, the opening cut “Blank Reflection” they make statement (reminding me a bit of Neu). They’re still a hard bunch to describe though their own tag of “weird punk” definitely fits.
NOTS — Cosmetic (Goner)NOTS, out of Memphis, make a dystopian racket of short, sharp sounds gathered in machine gun bursts and set off by spatters of negative space. Their songs, often as not, start in a tetchy, propulsive duel between Charlotte Watson’s double-timed drums and Meredith Lones’ staccato bass. Keyboards, played by Alexandra Eastburn, blare through a bit later in cold claustrophobic stabs, and guitar (that’s Natalie Hoffmann, who also sings) crashes in like a tree through the roof, in violent, puncturing stabs.