There isn’t much special about the third album from Nots, though that isn’t to say that ‘3’ isn’t a competent album at the very least. The Memphis trio’s sound is very much dime-a-dozen by today’s post-punk revival standards, with menacing bass, pummeling drums, half-spoken vocals, a de-emphasized guitar and reverb-heavy production.
They do come through with some interesting atonal synths that add some much-needed atmosphere, and the guitar adds some creativity on tracks like on “Persona” and “Surveillance Veil,” but other than that, the band is almost completely indistinguishable from other, better groups such as IDLES or Protomartyr.
Granted, the bass lines and drum grooves, while generic, are pretty nice, but it’s only enough to make this album a listenable piece of background music, and not one I’m likely to return to.
The most intriguing song on here is an interlude, which can’t be a good sign. Nots reach the peak of cliche on album closer, “Built Environment,” which ironically repeats “I Want My MTV,” something surely no band has ever done before…
Though indistinct, the music on ‘3’ is tolerable for anyone with a liking for post-punk, and it occasionally surprises with some above-average synths and guitars. However, it’s not enough to make this album much more than a reminder that Joy Division exists.