Currently comprised of founding member Natalie Hoffman, along with Charlotte Watson (drums), Madison Farmer (bass) and Alexandra Eastburn (synths), the Memphis, TN-based punk rock quartet Nots quickly rose to national prominence with the release of their 2014 full-length debut We Are Nots, an effort that was heavily indebted to 60s garage rock, punk, thrash punk, no wave and new wave. Since the release of their full-length debut, the Memphis-based punk band have been pretty busy as they’ve released a handful of singles that revealed an expansion of the sound that first caught the attention of the blogosphere, while lyrically focusing on deeper, sociopolitical concern — with the band’s sophomore effort Cosmetic thematically focusing on the rough and complicated edges of desire, deceit and distortions — and how they impact both appearances and your sense of reality. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the course of this year, you may recall that I wrote about Cosmetic‘s first single “Entertain Me.” Clocking in at about 7 minutes, the song found the band at their most sprawling, nosiest and most frenetic while writing a song that was reminiscent of angrier and more abrasive versions of The Church‘s “Chaos” and Disappears‘ “Kone” as “Entertain Me” evokes a sensation of powerlessness and frustration; or perhaps in other words, it’s the sound of a narrator struggling to find some kind of sane footing in a desperate, perverse, fucked up world.
“Cold Line,” the album’s second single was released as a 7 inch single to build up buzz for their sophomore effort, continued along a similar vein, as that single was equally tense and frenetic as its predecessor but with a subtle nod to surfer punk. Lyrically, the song’s narrator focuses on a how a hateful and empty world that emphasizes superficiality can help people create a distorted self-image paired with the difficult of real connection when you’re surrounded by hateful, stupid, bloviating idiots. Sounds familiar?
The album’s third and latest single “Inherently Low” is presciently and strangely fitting for our increasingly surreal times while continuing with the album’s overall theme. Sonically, the band pairs angular guitar and bass chords, propulsive drumming and shouted lyrics — and the end result is a song that evokes creeping dread and unease and while boldly and furiously calling out hypocritical bullshit. Simply put it’s a song with a narrator that simply has stopped giving a fuck.
The recently released video was created and edited by the band’s Natalie Hoffman and was influenced by the results of last week’s Presidential Election. And as Hoffman explains in press notes “the tension and fear that came with the results certainly played a part in the visual outcome of the video. America has elected someone who has openly campaigned to keep us low. To keep us completely divided. To keep us at war. I don’t think that I (or anyone) can fully process the weight of what is to come, but this video is an attempt to translate both what the song is about, and how I’ve felt since the election results – a new awareness, anger, and fear about being kept inherently low.”