In a year that has seen Captured Tracks’ proliferation in the sectors of the indie dream core vortex; the garage skronk and slop of Naomi Punk comes as both a pleasant if not startling surprise. Released in a limited vinyl run earlier this year from Couple Skate, Captured Tracks’ wide release of the Olympia trio’s album The Feeling brings Naomi Punk’s dedication to the alternative sub-genre realms spawned by the overexploited punk movement that occurred so many years back. Exploiting the sound further is Naomi’s crew of Travis Coster, Neil Gregerson and Nicolas Luempert, who provide their own voodoo, breaking the security deposit box locks from rock and roll’s busted ass banks of trust.
Opener “Voodoo Trust” operates on guitar progressions that rise and fall that dovetails with seamless wizardry into the loud grunge clamor of “The Spell”. “Trashworld” embodies the album’s vast, sparse and spastic aesthetic where here goth-guitar exaltations of self-immolation and disgust at a disposable world are the new world order. The brilliance of this track is when the Northwest three convince you that you might actually have this track on tape in a shoebox somewhere leftover from a 90s upbringing. Not that the sound is exclusively grounded in one decade more than another, but the alternate scuzz of “Burned Body” indicates a shared love for the pop underground histories that have sprouted across the landscapes of geo-socio-political-artistic upheavals for 3 decades and counting.
Travis, Neil and Nicolas also provide left-field musical vignettes that provide shelter from their amp strewn Seattle basement. “CLS + Death Junket” brings two sub-tracks in one with “CLS” gargling like a rusty electric organ where the “Death Junket” portion sounds like a infomercials from hell slowed down and brought to the physical earth for commercial purposes. That organ returns on “Gentle Movement Toward Sensual Liberation” where the title gives further levity toward the tape twisting instrumental recording. “Eon of Love” later keeps the Naomi Punk instrumental tradition going with what waltzes on cassette might sound like to archaeologists from the future after being excavated and played.
Title track “The Feeling” feels like the sum of the musical parts on the disc conjoining into one cohesive song free of the previous start and stop exercises. “The Buzz” crystallizes the band’s approach to guitar progressions that hinges between shambling and strident chord striking that remind you that this is alternative on purpose; forget the buzz you may have read or anything you have heard before.
The pop of Naomi Punk is beyond the scuzz-letting catharsis of noise for noise sake. Whether it’s the controlled quixotic guitar chord-then-collapse approach of “Voodoo Trust” or the knowing revelations of proficiency of “The Buzz” or the title track; the trio’s primary concern is to create the album’s forthcoming mission statement of The Feeling, as a sentiment carved from the evocative balance of discord and fuzzy melodic interludes and songs to keep believers of punk’s many forms in constant, harmonious revolt.