Naomi Punk

The Feeling

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It's too bad that the term "post-grunge" was coined to describe the likes of Creed and Staind, who made grunge's brooding heaviness more conventional, because later bands such as NĂ¼ Sensae and especially Naomi Punk take the style's basic tenets in directions that seem more influenced by grunge's spirit and are far more interesting. Naomi Punk's second album, The Feeling, which Couple Skate first released in April 2012 and Captured Tracks reissued later that year, explodes grunge's straightforward rhythmic underpinnings to let riffs, vocals, and drums crash or float as they may in a way that's more expressive than chaotic. And while Naomi Punk reject overt verse/chorus/verse structures as firmly as they would that last copy of the Singles soundtrack in the used CD bin, The Feeling doesn't want for hooks, especially on tracks like "Burned Body," which has an oddly triumphant streak to its clamor that recalls Nirvana's "In Bloom," even if it's much more fragmented and abstract. Indeed, while shades of Nirvana, as well as the Wipers and Beat Happening, often pop up in many of these songs, they feel more like passing nods to these spiritual forefathers and mothers instead of rehashing the territory they already covered. The band wrings a remarkable amount of different textures out of a relatively simple approach, from "Voodoo Trust"'s spring-loaded guitars to the watery undertow of "Trashworld" to vignettes like "CLS + Death Junket" and "Eon of Love," which add breathing room to the album's onslaughts and more abstract beauty to the proceedings. Tantalizingly indirect and strangely uplifting, The Feeling shows that Naomi Punk are capable of carrying on the weird spirit of the Pacific Northwest's underground in their own independent fashion.

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