Naturally, when most people think of Memphis, TN and of its vibrant music scene, they would probably name-check a number of that city’s soul, funk, hip-hop and country acts that have called Memphis home. However, over the last couple of years, Memphis has quietly developed a reputation for a vibrant and burgeoning hardcore punk rock scene as Goner Records released works by severals that have received national attention including Ex Cult’s impressive thrasher punk album, Midnight Passenger and Nots’ synth and guitar-based We Are Nots.
Formed three years ago, Nots began as the longtime collaboration between Natalie Hoffman (guitar and a former member of Ex-Cult) and Charlotte Watson (drums), who have played together in several other local bands. Madison Farmer (bass) and Alexandra Eastburn (synths) were enlisted into the band early last year, and as a newly formed quartet, the band wrote and recorded material that sounds as though it owes a debt to the 60s era garage rock, punk and new wave – but with a frenetic, unhinged feel. In some way, We Are Nots instantly reminds me of the dark, sleazy punk clubs and shitty little bars I would spend too much time in catching even shittier bands and drinking to excess. Ah, memories!
Celebrating the band’s recent signing to UK-based label Heavenly Recordings, who will release We Are Nots across the European Union, and a lengthy fall tour across the US and Europe, the quartet released the official video for album single “Reactor.” As far as “Reactor,” the song sounds like what would happen if a punk band started to cover The B52s — chugging guitars, swirling synth chords, persistent drumming, throbbing bass paired with shouted lyrics to create a song that feels visceral and urgent, while being subtly psychedelic. The official video features stock footage from old B movies and horror films spliced with cheap psychedelic imagery, which gives the video an unsettling, anxious feel.
As I mentioned earlier, the band is going on an extensive tour across the US and the European Union, and it includes two dates here in Brooklyn. Check out the tour dates below for details.
Sept-19 – Memphis, TN – Cooper-Young Festival (Memphis Grizzlies/Goner Stage)
Sept-25 – Memphis, TN – Gonerfest 12 w/ Sonny Vincent, Ty Rex, Timmy’s Organism, Cuntz, Musk
Oct-19 – Nashville, TN – Stone Fox
Oct-20 – Cincinnati, OH – Comet
Oct-21 – Pittsburgh, PA – Mr. Roboto
Oct-22 – Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie
Oct-23 – Boston, MA – Club Bohemia
Oct-24 – Brooklyn, NY – Tuff Weekend @ The Wick
Oct-25 – Brooklyn, NY – Tuff Weekend @ Acheron
Oct-27 – Montreal, QC – Brasserie Beaubien
Oct-28 – Toronto, ON – Smiling Buddha
Oct-29 – Oberlin, OH – Dionysus Discotheque (Oberlin College)
Oct-30 – Cleveland, OH – Now That’s Class
Oct-31 – Detroit, MI – UFO Factory
Nov-02 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle
Nov-03 – Indianapolis, IN – Hi Fi
Nov-04 – Columbus, MO – Rose Music Hall
Nov-05 – Springfield, MO – Outland
Nov-06 – Norman, OK – Mainsite Art Gallery
Nov-07 – Ft. Worth, TX – Lola’s
Nov-21 – Utrecht – Le Guess Who Festival
Nov 22 – Gronigen – Vera
Nov 23 – Antwerp – Hab Ets
Nov 24 – Nottingham – Chameleon Cafe
Nov 25 – Manchester – TBD
Nov 26 – London – Heavenly 25 @ The Garage
Nov 27 – Luxembourg – Rotundes Club
Nov 28 – Paris – BB Mix Festival