Written By: Fletcher Bonin
With their latest release entitled Nothing Feels Natural, Washington DC based alternative rock group PRIESTS makes just about everything feel natural. And, being from DC, could we perhaps assume the source for their turmoil, the reason why nothing feels natural? In any case, there is certainly something rebellious and renegade about PRIESTS’ unique sound. Released at the end of last January, this ten track album is a composition born of old school nostalgia and post-modern experimentation. Their rock and roll sound is undeniable, but so too is their modern vocal emphasis and lyrical themes. Their post-punk sound is an ode to irreverence and a celebration of individual thinking.
The female lead vocalist of PRIESTS is uncompromising and tenderly cutthroat. Her voice boils on low simmer against steady rock instrumentals before erupting into ranging choruses that carry the song. PRIESTS offers a refreshingly new sound in an industry that has all but abandoned the genre. PRIESTS is the lighthouse that gives us hope as we drown in a sea of post-emo punk bands that we are only pretending to enjoy. Indeed, PRIESTS reminds me of up and coming groups like Phantogram or Cherry Glazerr with their unedited vocals and old school rock instrumentals, touched with offbeat punk lyrics. PRIESTS, in my opinion, is the future of rock music to an ever more critical audience.
My favorite track off this latest production is the upbeat and powerful ‘JJ’. With a steadily plucked guitar intro calling to mind The Beach Boys, the vocals hit ignition and launch into a steady and wonderful roar. She sings as though her voice box was indeed a cell from which she has now broken free. Her range is on display on this song, as she sings, “When I met you you were just a bad attitude you dated a model one time she stuck her finger in a light socket about things like that people were always so mean and rude but I always felt like, ‘oh veronika, baby, I think I kinda know what you mean’ I can’t believe I always had such awful taste you were just a rich kid low life in a very big jacket in a very big way the most interesting thing about you was that you smoked Parliaments the babiest cigarettes I thought I was a cowboy because I smoked Reds.” ‘Pink White House’ and ‘Lelia 20’ are also pretty great.
While you might lose them in the singer’s throaty and warbling vocals, the lyrics tell stories that you’ll want to hear. Once you start combing through their lyrics you’ll find both satisfying answers as well as many, many more questions. PRIESTS builds their intrigue with this, their latest and most fascinating release, Nothing Feels Natural.