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Priests, Gurr

  • High Noon Saloon 701 East Washington Avenue Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

D.C. punk outfit Priests experiments with more danceable rhythms on its latest record. Info/tix

Photo by Drew Hagelin.

Photo by Drew Hagelin.

"I'm a disco ball," sings Priests' Katie Alice Greer during the bridge of "Carol," a boppy track that heralds a new direction on the band's latest release, The Seduction Of Kansas. When the Washington D.C. act released Nothing Feels Natural a week after Donald Trump's inauguration, their angular post-punk felt momentous. At the time, Katie Alice Greer's off-kilter delivery and Taylor Mulitz's rumbling bass propelled the group's sonic diatribes. Now, with Mulitz having left the band, Priests have taken a few cautious steps into art-punk territory. Primary recording bassist Janel Leppin thrills on "I'm Clean," which is more danceable than anything (except "Suck") from Nothing Feels Natural, while the title track evokes a sugar-free Tacocat with its sinister disco vibe — even album-opener "Jesus' Son" offers an accessible, surfy groove. Despite the album's overall success in this area, Priests are at their best when they use dance rhythms sparingly. For example, the incohesive "68 Screen" initially sounds like The Slits or Demon Days-era Gorillaz imitating LCD Soundsystem before G.L. Jaguar's shoegazey guitar line aimlessly wanders over the song's last forty seconds. In contrast, the relatively basic new wave structure on standout track "Good Time Charlie" has enough of a groove to keep listeners dancing even as they focus on Greer's incisive lyrics. —Shaun Soman

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