Album Review of Nothing Feels Natural by Priests.
Release Date: Jan 27, 2017
Record label: Revolver Music
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Noise-Rock, Hardcore Punk, Punk Revival
Priests fit into a storied tradition of politically motivated punk bands from Washington, DC, but the group sets itself apart from the city's haphazard hardcore heroes with this thematically and stylistically focused LP. Nothing Feels Natural addresses personal autonomy and responsibility with precision, even as songs like "Appropriate" disintegrate into spare, ominous segments.It makes sense that a band concerned with power dynamics would be so rigorous with their sound. Lean, trebly surf riffs dart through "Leila 20" and lead single "JJ." Peals of reverb roll over "No Big Bang" and the standout title track without breaking into disarray.
Our current political landscape is one where ‘alternative facts’ is not a phrase taken from a dystopian novel but a thing in real life, so it’s a strange and disorienting time, to say the least. Priests, a DC punk band that could be described as directly confrontational in the past, are not so confrontational anymore. The absurdity of it all has scrambled their brains, which is quite understandable.
Many of the songs on Priests’ full-length debut deal with the individual experiences that are so bad, you end up losing faith in humanity as a whole: “If I walk a hundred days/doesn’t mean I get to say/you can’t talk to me that way,” Katie Alice Greer bemoans of the world. Even her own sense of accomplishment is on the chopping block. But, there’s more to this record than a jaded worldview.