Naomi Punk - Television Man - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Naomi Punk - Television Man

by Andy Brown Rating:7 Release Date:2014-08-04

Television Man finds Olympia, Washington’s Naomi Punk picking up where they left off with their 2012 debut LP, The Feeling. The band combines sonic dissonance, endlessly repeated riffs and pop hooks, condensing everything into three-minute chunks of ear-rattling noise. Recalling some of post-punk's more interesting forefathers in the process, Naomi Punk certainly share some common traits with the likes of Pere Ubu and Wire.

The album opens with a nod to another post-punk group of note, ‘Firehose Face’ presumably being a reference to Firehose. You won’t find the loose, party-like atmosphere of Mike Watt’s post-Minutemen group here, though. The track sets up the rest of Television Man well, displaying the band's knack for tight, sheet-metal riffs, bludgeoning repetition and an ever-present tension. The jerky riffs on tunes like ‘Song Factory’ even manage to bring a slowed-down version of wonderful post-punk nutters Swell Maps to mind.

The band plays around with tempos although tend to find their groove. They certainly display an impressively tight control over their sound. Television Man is an album imbued with a sense of restlessness, of late nights stumbling around the city because you’re unable to sleep. Despite the comparisons, the album is perhaps missing a little of the eccentricity and playful sense of anarchy which made classic post-punk records such as Pink Flag and A Trip to Marineville so enjoyable.

The song titles often don’t relieve any tension either, with the likes of ‘Whirlpool of Anguish’ and ‘Eon of Pain’ (the latter a follow-up to ‘Eon of Love’ from The Feeling). The vocals are buried fairly low in the mix so it’s difficult to guess the lyrical contents of most of their songs. Who knows, maybe it’s all ice-creams and autumn strolls?

The band are still in their early/mid-20s and no doubt have a lot more to give. I doubt this will be the best album the band make but for now Television Man stands as a pretty commanding release. After nine reasonably short songs, the band closes the album with the eight glorious minutes which make up the doom-laden, noise-ridden ‘Rodeo Trash Pit’. If you weren’t convinced before, this will be the track to win you round.

The band attempt to describe themselves on their website: “Naomi Punk is another deformed art object in a crass marketplace of filth and rot”. As Swell Maps once asked, do you believe in art? 

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