Your prayers for a strong punk rock album have been answered by Priests.Sister Polygon Records, 2017
8.2 / 10
Being a band from Washington, D.C., it would be dumb to assume that Priests wouldn’t be a little political. Especially since the four-piece is a punk band with a keen eye on social issues. Their debut full-length, Nothing Feels Natural, even features a song titled, “Pink White House”. That song implores listeners to “consider the options of a binary”, even when most of the album’s songs are born from the experiences of women. Priests’ songs boom like thunder from the heavens. Thumping bass licks, squelching horns, crashing percussion, volatile singing all come together for an anarchic experience that never stops being fun. Even if you don’t care for Priests’ political views.
Singer Katie Alice Greer gives a phenomenal performance. Her voice changes inflection and mood in a heartbeat. She seemingly pays no attention to the melody behind her vocals. She’ll repeat lyrics but twisting them in a new light until you must take notice. The songs are smartly written with big themes and smaller ones1 presented with equal importance. The previously mentioned “Pink White House” is a statement on the American dream being a falsity when it doesn’t apply to everyone. The desire for better things in life is frequently noted and how we’re programmed to believe it’s the same as success (“Appropriate” and “Nicki”). Drummer Daniele Daniele (best name ever) is on vocals for the fast-paced spoken word song “No Big Bang”, where a conversation with a friend about science challenges her ingrained beliefs and leaves her fearful.
Nothing Feels Natural’s release is eerily timely. Arriving six days after the Women’s Marches that took place all over the world, it seems referenced in the album’s title track. “If I walk a hundred days does it mean I get to say you can’t talk to me that way,” sings Katie Alice Greer seemingly asking if she can be treated as an equal human rather than an object. Priests’ debut proves the band is greater than rather than equal to many of their peers. Don’t sleep on this album.
1. Greer sings, “So don’t ask me for an elevator speech/ You and me both know about dishonesty,” on “Appropriate”, possibly referring to painful attempts at small talk just to avoid silence.