Hey gang, as it turns out: Punk is not dead! Despite all evidence to the contrary; here we have one of the bands that is bringing it back in full force. Priests’ first official LP hits you with all the grace and subtlety of a chainsaw to the kneecap, and you’ll love it. Seriously, if you’ve ever had one punk rock bone in your body you should stop what you are doing and find a way to listen to this album. Maybe you could even click here and give it a listen? I don’t know. I’m not a doctor.
The band, fronted by the electric Katie Alice Greer, explodes right out of the gate with the song “Appropriate” and carries its energy all the way through until “Interlude” hits at the halfway point. The songs come out swinging, hitting all of the classic punk rock/riot grrrl high notes both lyrically and musically; The standard 3 chords and verse/chorus/verse structure tends to overstay its welcome incredibly quickly, but at only 10 tracks, the style and length feels exactly right.
The album also has one more amazing trick up its sleeve. Once you make it through to “Interlude” the songs make a cool tonal shift in the lyrics and the back half of the album grows up substantially in the lyrics. I want to make special mention of “Pink White House” and “Suck”, these two songs hit incredibly hard and make me reminisce about bands like Anti-Flag or Bikini Kill. So fans of both should give this album a listen.
If I had one critique, it would be that the songwriter plays it a little safe and will sometimes repeat phrases to pad out the runtime. Her lyrics are generally really strong, however, so I would say that she needs to learn to trust her instincts and trust her talent. Seeing more expansion on the ideas and themes of songs like “JJ” and “Nothing Feels Natural” would really push this record to the limits.
The Verdict: I linked the album before the page break, so obviously I think its great. Most of my issues are nitpicky at best and no sins made on this album are unforgivable.
The Score: 8/10