Best Single: “Burned Body” by Naomi Punk

Both times I’ve seen Naomi Punk perform, a piece of gear got fried. Neither incident was surprising—the Olympia/Seattle trio punishes its instruments and amps when performing. Travis Coster beats his guitar, thwacking it in criss-cross motions. Drummer Nick Luempert hits his drums like a toddler throwing a tantrum. THUMP. THUMP. THUMP. The secret of Naomi Punk’s immediacy lies in that rhythmic fury. The songs are deafeningly catchy, and this past year’s best local single, “Burned Body,” is relentlessly so. The song bludgeons you in the face with its heavy, simple rhythm. THUMP. THUMP. THUMP. Using the insistent, plodding beat as a springboard, Coster and fellow guitarist Neil Gregerson zig-zag in and out of the 4/4 caveman stomp with their shred guitars. When they release you from the repetitious rhythmic dirge for the song’s massive chorus, it feels like a million summertime skateboarders launching off a vert ramp into space.

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