Over the past year or so, Memphis, TN-based quartet Nots and their Stateside label home Goner Records have become JOVM mainstays as I’ve written quite a bit about both the band and their label; in fact, Goner Records have quickly established themselves as the label home to some of the country’s best hardcore punk and hard rock bands, as they have been the label home to the likes of Ex Cult, whose Midnight Passenger and Cigarette Machine EP have been two of the best (and angriest) punk albums I’ve heard in about 5 years, OBN IIIs who have released several albums of swaggering power chord party rock in the vein of early AC/DC, the late Jay Reatard and several others. And with the release of their debut effort, We Are Nots, the Memphis-based quartet comprised of Natalie Hoffman (guitar) and Charlotte Watson (drums), Madison Farmer (bass) and Alexandra Eastburn (synths) started to receive national attention for material that sounds as though it owes a debt to the 60s era garage rock, punk and new wave – but with a frenetic, unhinged and very visceral feel. Personally, I think the Memphis-based quartet’s debut effort should have received much more attention as their sound and aesthetic can be compared favorably to The Fall, Bikini Kill, Protomartyr, The B52s and others.
Renowned British indie label Heavenly Records licensed Nots’ We Are Nots and are releasing the effort across the UK on the 20th. The quartet will touring across the UK and the Ehe European Union to support the British/EU release of their debut effort — and to further celebrate the British/EU release of We Are Nots, the band in concert with Heavenly Records released a 7 inch of non-album material featuring “Shelf Life” as a B side to their latest single “Virgin Mary.”
“Shelf Life” is a messy, murky, lo-fi garage psych rock song comprised of relentless, chugging guitar chords, propulsive drumming, layers of distortion and feedback and shouted vocals that rushes in and out in a breakneck 1:43. And although the song kick ass, it manages to reveal a band that’s subtly and playfully expanding their sound while remaining familiar.