Nots – “Violence” (2017)

It’s already been four years since Nots stumbled out the gate into an unsuspecting garage/lo-fi/indie underground music scene. From podcasts to radio, bar basements to festival stages, and the much coveted Opening Ceremonies at Gonerfest 2016 (exclusive footage coming soon), they haven’t changed one iota, and their sound is still as raw and surprising.

While most bands are content writing songs about gobbling down fast food items (ahem, Burger Records), Nots’ latest offering is a direct indictment of our political reality, but without the trends of juvenile identity politics (ahem, Downtown Boys). “Violence” is like an anthem of Bush-era military spending that Michael Moore forgot to include in his “Fahrenheit 9/11” documentary. Sounding equally distant (the dystopia-world of Derek Jarman’s “Jubilee”) and unmistakably current (I hear the word Syria), it temporarily forgoes electric guitar for an eerie synth-organ loop that recalls Southern church services and nuclear alarm sirens in equal measure.

Nots’ lyrics have constantly explored the dichotomy of the personal and the social. It’s a subtle achievement to have remained so consistently original in a market saturated with apolitical face-value superficial music. Nots reinstate artistry in a culture that has been secretly on life support for decades. Let’s hope the shock revives it.

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