Naomi Punk's 'Television Man' is Strangely Therapeutic

Naomi Punk, Television Man
Out Aug. 5, Captured Tracks,

Despite all efforts to shroud itself in mystery, Olympia’s Naomi Punk keeps raising its profile. Its scorching 2012 debut record, The Feeling, was quickly picked up by Brooklyn indie label Captured Tracks, home to trending acts like DIIV and Mac Demarco. But the group’s jagged guitars and noise-heavy jams don’t have the friendly pop tone of many of its label-mates, making its music some of the least accessible out there. Many tracks bear names similar to those on The Feeling (“Linoleum Tryst” vs. “Linoleum Tryst #19”; “Eon of Love” vs. “Eon of Pain”), and as before, each fades into the next with clashing guitars and minimalist drums. Yet the band plays up such monotony as a strength; and while its guitar technique doesn’t vary much from track to track (aside from sanguine instrumental interludes like “Plastic World No. 6” and “Whirlpool of Anguish”), it all builds to a strangely therapeutic drone, culminating in the astounding eight-minute closer, “Rodeo Trash Pit,” which combines all the previous relentless guitar chopping and thudding drums into a sweltering noise-rock anthem. Elsewhere, vocalist Travis Coster is hard to discern, obscured by layers of watery reverb and sputtered lyrics. When he finally elongates his phrases on the choruses of tracks like “Linoleum Tryst #19,” it feels like a well-earned revelation.

Next Show: Sun., Aug. 3, Vibrations Festival, Volunteer Park

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