As someone who writes about music for a "living", the endless hours of listening to bands and artists that you wouldn't normally listen to can get to be a real grind. That stack of free vinyl, or CD's, that sits on your desk like a cockeyed Jenga taunting you from afar might seem impressive to the untrained eye, but to the man or woman whose responsibility it is to work their way to the bottom of said stack, it can begin to feel like a concrete block tied to one's nostril hair.
What ultimately gets you through that stack is the hope that, among the future coffee coasters and clay pigeons, lies a proverbial needle in a haystack that will grab you by the ears and rekindle your love for music. Sometimes you can burn through ten stacks without ever finding it, but when you do, it's a moment worth writing about.
Such is the case with the debut effort by Washington DC-based foursome Priests, whose Nothing Feels Natural isn't just a promising first listen, but, rather, a boldly confident warning shot by a band whose days of obscurity are truly numbered....3, 2, 1...
What's most remarkable about the album is that it breaks absolutely no new musical ground, yet manages to inject new life into a well-worn post-punk template, thereby making it all seem fresh and invigorating somehow.
If playing "Spot the influence" is your thing, there's much to love here. Even so, the conviction with which the band throws themselves into songs that quite starkly recall The Scream-era Siouxsie & The Banshees or Romeo Void circa "Never Say Never" makes it an easy infraction to overlook.
So, are Priests that rare band that arrives fully formed on their debut and, if so, where do they go from here? This writer is excited to find out and, as of now, there are plenty of good seats on the Priests bandwagon. Grab yours now.