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Priests push their post-punk sound further on latest album





Priests push their post-punk sound further on latest album

Nationally acclaimed post-punkers Priests take their sound to unfamiliar territory on their latest release: The Seduction of Kansas. After making several album of the year lists with their 2017 release, Nothing Feels Natural, Priests work hard on Kansas to not only dive deeper into their aesthetics, but also to push their sound in a new direction.

Eschewing the comparitively subdued sound found on Natural's title track, The Seduction of Kansas heightens the group's punk aesthetics while also utilizing the band's proclivity for unique instrumentation. Moving from a straight-up snarling punk opener on “Jesus' Son”, the album enters somewhat experimental territory on its title track. Vaguely politically charged, the track oscillates between discordant verses and a synth infused, harmonious repitition of the line, “I'm the one who loves you.” The result is at once attention grabbing and musically impactful.

Heavy throughout the release are explorations of political subjects with a depth that only DC residents would get into. Perhaps the best example is the track “Good Time Charlie”. Inspired by the 2007 drama Charlie Wilson's War, which used 1980's US foreign policy in Afghanistan as its subject matter, the track contains lyrical nuggets like:

Like all great pornography, this story is touching
It's somethin' that I wanna see
(Black and gold tile, champagne flute)
Good time Charlie
(Sauna water dirtying the birthday suits)

After “Charlie” comes an an energetic semi-spoken word track “68 Screen”, and a bass heavy Riot Grrrl number “Control Freak”, as the group careens gracefully towards the album's conclusion.

Making a follow up album to a widely acclaimed debut release is always difficult, and fans and critics tend to expect the band to explore new territory while also staying true to their original sound. On this score, and many others, Priests succeeds with flying colors.

-Mike Dranove

Published: May 18, 2019 |

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