HAILING from Washington State, Naomi Punk do a good job of channelling their home state’s most famous resident musicians. Of course, the shadow of Nirvana will come with any band of that area, but don’t think for a second I’m accusing Naomi Punk of ripping off ‘Lithium’. Instead, the band encapsulates the raw, punk nature of Nirvana, transforming it into their own form of grunge.
In terms of comparing it to their last release, Television Man doesn’t differ too wildly from 2012’s The Feeling. The vocals are still massively obscured, the gritty guitar is still there and the overall power of the songs has not diminished. There are a few differences however. Overall, the songs are generally shorter, with the longest being ‘Rodeo Trash Pit’ at over eight minutes, while the others do not exceed five. There’s a different feel to the songs on Television Man as well. Whereas on The Feeling there was a very Sonic Youth vibe about the songs, with this new release the songs can be placed into two categories.
Half feel less melodic than on The Feeling; very raw, very gritty. These are quite reminiscent of Nirvana’s first album, Bleach. Songs like ‘Firehose Face’ and ‘Linoleum Tryst #19’. The others are the total opposite. They are a departure from the guitar-based songs, or have a more developed melody. See ‘Plastic World No.6’, ‘Whirlpool of Anguish’ and the title track for just a few examples of what Naomi Punk can do.
The way the track listing of this album works means that all different manner of songs are placed together in an assorted order. The great thing is it totally works. There’s not a duff placement to be seen in the entire album and it flows very well. Not only are the tracks sufficiently gritty, they’re also surprisingly easy to listen to. Hell, you might even be able to get away with playing this album in the background at a dinner party. Well, okay, maybe not that easy.
On the whole, Naomi Punk have done, dare I say it, a pretty good album. The album doesn’t come crashing through the boundaries of innovation but it does demonstrate the band’s evolution, sharpening their sound and perhaps creating one of the best underground albums of the year so far.
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