Naomi Punk — ‘The Feeling’

homepage_large.4a3da830This album dropped earlier in the year on Couple Skate records with only a few hundred copies pressed. Now though, the vogue independent– and hit-and-miss– Brooklyn label, Captured Tracks has thankfully gotten hold of it and distributed it to a wider audience.

First a few words on Captured Tracks. They tend to concentrate on indie-pop, synth-strewn music, what sounds a lot like a homage two decades-ago Bristol-based label Sarah Records– itself the sound of post C86, New Order, the Smiths, the Cure– but they can on occasion serve up a gem. More recently we’ve seen the label branch out a little with the Holograms LP; a slice of unashamed new-wave retro out of Sweden, Diiv’s Oshin; a nice mix of 80s influenced indie-rock and Interpol; and now this one from Olympia, WA band Naomi Punk.

This is a record that oozes a certain experimental grunge-and-punk lofi confidence, all drums and guitar playing off each-other to the point you can imagine the lead guitarist spending much of a live performance, back to the crowd, looking at the drummer man for time signatures and so on. Sideways grunge if you will. It’s like taking the elements of punk and grunge and making it into a thing where timing and rhythm come together so what we’re left with is an art-y take on the genre(s).

‘Burned Body’, with its guitars and drums to the fore in controlled, stop-start fashion– as the vocals sound wholly of secondary importance– is one such wonderful moment on the record, and ‘Voodoo Trust’ has a flat-out garage-y rawness that sounds very much like Ty Segall in fact. It’s always exciting when bands choose to take a healthy left turn instead of coming up with some ‘pop’ orientated songs that may indeed have a hook or a certain whistle-ability but can also wear thin pretty quickly, like that fancy wallpaper that was a good idea at the time. Basically, this is both an interesting record, and a quality one. Another of 2012’s guitar highlights.

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