Memphis’ NOTS are back with their second full length statement. Cosmeticfearlessly attacks the rough edges between desire, deceit, appearance and reality. Not chanting down Babylon, Natalie Hoffman screams straight into its face. In this Game Of Death, NOTS run through the maze of mirrors with sledgehammers. Oh, the sound of mirrors smashing. Let’s smash some more.
NOTS’ Natalie Hoffman details “Entertain Me”:
“‘Entertain Me’ is a song in a constant state of movement and deterioration around one central, repeating part. No two live versions of it sound the same. Drawing influences from experimental no wave, postpunk, and psychedelic music, ‘Entertain Me’ takes its cues from the edges of genres, where one begins to blend into another, and nothing is easily classified. The lyrics reflect the cyclical, distorted nature of the song, addressing different facets of the grotesque horror show going on in American politics and how they are portrayed- the rise of Trump, the reality-TV-like nature of American news, the almost-forced compliance of the viewer, and the for-profit-constructed “right” of the viewer, the consumer, to require constant entertainment in order to participate, and to live.”
NOTS are still a wild guitar band, but above and below the guitar, bass and drum pound, Alexandra Eastburn’s analog synth blurps melodies and nonsense, teasing squiggles of freedom which defy the false grid of modern life. Cosmetic? Emetic? “Monotone Lust” indeed. With Hoffman on guitar and vocals, Eastburn on synth, Charlotte Watson beating drums, and Meredith Lones steering a solid path through the chaos on bass, NOTS are neither content with the smug “stare at your shoes” approach of bands from both coasts, nor an Earth-hugging “we need to get back to nature” hippie copout. There might not be any answers here. That might be the point. NOTS have arrived at the next level of their attack with a confidence and a music that lays waste to the wasteland without romantic attachment to a thing.