Concert preview: Nots

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

The beauty of punk rock is that it is easy enough that anyone can play it. The downside is that it is easy enough that anyone can play it. A couple of art-school kids playing harsh, minimalist punk is almost an expectation, and rarely is it worthy of anyone's time outside of their dorm.

Nots is the exception.

Stripped-down, jagged post-punk-cum-new-wave-cum-no-wave rarely sounds as tense and vital is it does when Nots plays it. The band had me at "Insect Eyes," the opening track ofWe Are Nots. The song showcases LiLiPUT-esque shouted, sloganeering vocals, a tense guitar line akin to Dead Kennedys' "Holiday in Cambodia" and insistent, percussive synth pounding reminiscent of Brainiac. Any band that can count those three bands as sonic touchstones is solid in my book.

Guitarist and frontwoman Natalie Hoffmann coaxes some really interesting sounds from a reasonably simple range of highly distorted guitar work. Her guitar anchors Nots, much in the same way Jared Phillips anchored Times New Viking, similar lo-fi noise-niks of the art school stripe.

A lot of ink is spent pointing out the Memphis quartet is all female. Not much is spent asking if it matters. Maybe, but probably not. Can't we let the women-in-rock discussion go? Does it matter that the band is all female? Women think differently and create differently than men, and thankfully this has blessed us with Nots. Any point other than respect and appreciation is moot.(Don't miss it)

Ace of Cups

9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18

2619 N. High St., Old North