Who: D.C. based experimental punk.
Sound: Priests have toned down the surf punk rock distortion and rage for a more nuanced and precise sound peppered with bitter and biting social commentary.
TFN Final Take: I have been listening to Priests for a few years and was impressed early on by the messy yet powerful sound of their first releases and how they kept that edge on their last release, Bodies And Control And Money And Power while expanding their prowess in the studio. The band continues its growth on Nothing Feels Natural but it does not feel very natural. I feel like Priests toned themselves down too much. Nothing Feels Natural will no doubt garner Priests a lot of listeners and critical acclaim, but I miss the more spontaneous and edgy sound they had on their last EP.
Nothing Feels Natural is most definitely about a band expanding their repertoire. Don’t get me wrong, there are some intriguing and satisfying tracks like “Lelia 20,” “No Big Bang”, “Pink White House”, and “Puff”, however, beyond that, I found myself skipping about half the tracks after a few full listens. Priests employ too many different styles that it feels like they sacrificed cohesiveness and their established raw punk sound for a bigger audience. Understandable, but at the same time it disappointed me a bit. I was ready for some more unbridled rage and I got an experimental R&B/Jazz album that sometimes remembers that it was once a punk band.
Sister Polygon Records
– Reviewed by Daniel Taylor