Television Man, the latest from Olympia, WA’s NAOMI PUNK settles into a dark groove as soon as the needle drops – the kind that doesn’t really let up until it’s over.
Opening with “Firehose Face,” the group puts forth their mission statement. Buzzing with repetitive, damaged riffs and punctuated by minimal drums, all while the coolly restrained vocals sit in the middle of the records’ mid-fi mélange. It’s a sound and approach that’s clearly indebted to their Olympia-based musical forebears, Unwound. There’s something almost hypnotic about the way the album flows from one song to the next. Locked in, almost never letting up or wavering in its ferocity or attack level.
While the group confines itself to a certain, spare stylistic direction and approach (right down to their super-minimal web presence), Television Man still finds ways to build and expand on Naomi Punk’s musical language. Take for example, the strangely compelling beauty of the instrumentals “Plastic World no. 6” and “Whirlpool of Anguish” with their wonderfully circuit-bent synthesizer lines. Elsewhere, the title track “Television Man” builds on cyclical guitar riffs before flowering into one of the record’s most anthemic choruses. “Rodeo Trash Pit” is an 8-minute closer which pummels and chugs over and over again all while the psychic pain is clearly audible in the vocals. There’s a certain barrenness that haunts this record, one that is difficult to describe. It almost feels like the soundtrack to a post-apocalyptic world. This is rock being played on scorched earth and the devastation is everywhere.
You can snag the LP from Captured Tracks now – there’s a ‘special edition’ that comes on lavender vinyl with a newsprint poster, a 2″ Naomi Punk button, a 14-page band-made zine and a silkscreen wrap. Otherwise you can buy just the album itself on LP, CD or cassette.
My Rating: SS
Genre/ Tags: Grunge, Punk, Slowcore
Television Man LP: Tracklist:
1.) Firehose Face
2.) Song Factory
3.) Television Man
4.) Plastic World no. 6
5.) Eleven Inches
6.) California Truth
7.) Eon of Pain
8.) Linoleum Tryst #19
9.) Whirlpool of Anguish
10.) Rodeo Trash Pit
BUY the LP from Captured Tracks – ‘special edition’ on lavender vinyl with a poster, button, a silk screen wrap and a 14-page zine designed by the band. Get just the album right here.
Naomi Punk on the Internet
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