Last year, Memphis punk quartet NOTS released their arresting sophomore LP Cosmetic, brimming with a palpable, immediate energy. Though they’re rockers at heart (and Cosmetic is relentless in its sonic barrage, no doubt) it was the band’s penchant for art-rock flourishes that set the record apart. Fuzzed out guitars, warbling distortion, spacey buzzing synths, and brazen vocal jabs needled listeners to attention, then held a ferocious gaze at every twist and turn.
It’s evident that NOTS plan to continue that experimental trajectory with their latest single, “Violence.” It’s the doomy, synth-driven b-side to their Cruel Friend 7″ which comes out June 30 via Goner Records. Though they’ve dabbled in Krautrock sensibilities before, they’ve seldom reached such kosmiche heights. Seemingly set in some dystopian future where guitars have become extinct, Alexandra Eastburn’s droning analog snyth warps the weft of Natalie Hoffmann’s urgent shouts, weaving together a wonky punk tapestry for the cruelest of summers.