Artist: Naomi Punk
Record Label: Captured Tracks
Mumblecore. Dirgegaze. These are just two fictitious genres I can cook up to summarise the new LP by Naomi Punk. ‘Television Man’ is the uncharted no fly zone between grunge and Black Sabbath’s stoner rock but with added yawns of sluggishness. The trio from Olympia, Washington mangle a splurge of discordant guitar smudges and battered drums that reoccur in an almost psychedelic sense – the repetition throughout ‘Television Man’ bestows a hypnotic aesthetic, one that’s forged from the same chord progressions that relay over and over, and over and over, and over and…you get it right? Then there’s Travis Coster’s undecipherable vocal; what can only be described as a mumble at best, is buried beneath the lethargic schlep of guitars and drums. The three piece’s most recent body of work just feels like a mess of static smooshed into the basic confines of an album but is bereft of any long-lasting redeeming features. Ebb and flow is non-existent and a shift in dynamic is something alien to ‘Television Man’.
Respite appears in the guise of instrumentation tracks ‘Plastic World No.6’ – A woozy waft through a repetitive hue of overlapping guitar strums and static manipulation. The same can be said for ‘Whirlpool of Anguish’ – a buzzing, malfunctioning siren of a song that works nicely to dilute the rest of the album’s slog through a tuneless soundscape. ‘Eon of Pain’ makes inroads into something less fuggy and mid-paced with chugging riffs and drum blasts but three quarters into the track, Coster’s monotone slur drags the whole song down, akin to wrapping a cement overcoat around an unwitting victim and hurling them over a bridge to icy waters below. Notably, the rest of ‘Television Man’ bleeds into one long drone where it’s difficult to determine when one musical bore smears into another. ‘Rodeo Trash Pit’ caps off ‘Television Man’ by prolonging the constant tuneless din for eight long, agonising minutes – as if traversing the nine tracks prior wasn’t enough, having to endure a marathon of unmelodic nothingness just typifies Naomi Punk’s unremarkable post-punk dullness.
It’s hard to find anymore words that cater for ‘Television Man’ and it’s monotonous, dirge-like ways. As you can tell, I’m not a fan – but what’s awkward is my girlfriend’s called Naomi and I like punk rock…it just wasn’t meant to be.
Word and Thoughts of Adam Williams