Up north in the westernmost corner of the American countryside outside Olympia, Washington is a 3-piece band called Naomi Punk Music Group. They make art and music about peace, dirt, worms, ocean, power, and love. Originally founded in the depths of the American DIY Underground as an anonymous, minimalist collaboration that toured the world’s basement parties and warehouses with tightly wound blasts of noise and catharsis (The Feeling in 2012 and Television Man in 2014), this group has evolved into a bizarrely unique psychic art unit that incorporates found sounds, wild Captain Beefheart-ian freeform jams and amateuristic atmospherics to create audio paintings with punk instrumentation that aspire to tear back the curtain on our global societal mirage. And the band’s snide regard for the music industry, and society generally, is certainly on display in the band’s incendiary interviews.
Naomi Punk’s astonishing 25-track double LP Yellow, released in 2017, was recorded partly on the band’s farm, and partly at K Records’ Dub Narcotic Studio in Olympia. Yellow is an adventure through kaleidoscopic terrains of bludgeoning off-kilter punk, spoken word, meditative piano instrumentals, killer hooks, and churning sludge for an age of aesthetic promiscuity. There is a sense that this group has been honing in on a copacetic art platform for revealing moods concerning utopianism and radical critical theory (just check the massive newsprint lyric sheet), and employing novel sonic arrangements that recall the re-imaginations of rock music that came to light from Daydream Nation, Royal Trux, and perhaps This Heat’s Deceit.
When Captured Tracks label founder Mike Sniper signed Naomi Punk in 2012, he reportedly said they sounded like Kate Bush covering Swans. This is a truly unique young band trailblazing a different model for thinking through creative action in original music. And their live shows are really loud. Bring plugs.