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Polish Nails drops spazzy no wave debut

20 minutes of no wave-inflected grooves

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  • Courtesy Polish Nails



After three years of manic live activity, Polish Nails went and dropped its Musical Youth debut LP onto Bandcamp. The album's ten tracks total roughly 20 minutes but run a veritable roll call of dissonant sonic influences, from early no wave and anxious post-punk to punchy new wave and '90s/aughts revivalism. Featuring occasional accompaniment from Daniel Bailey and Julian Hinshaw (both of Faun and Pan Flute) on clarinet and tuba, respectively, the album sets off with "Complete Agony," a brief but potent track that encapsulates the album's mechanics. Residents-esque bizarro tunefulness bounces along with loose precision before dissolving into a Glenn Branca-style stabbing of tones. The din resembles a rickety engine chugging along and falling apart simultaneously. "Polish Nails" continues the narrative with Erase Errata's jerking rhythms and Ex Models' screeching, feedback-obsessed noise rock. Elsewhere, tracks like "Sucki's Earring," "O'Clock," and "Nakizuni" upend the established norms for more elusive and varied sounds, including everything from disposable tone floats to melodic sound collages. "My Cynical Brush" returns to the dynamic noise rock presented earlier but with an ear for krautrock, like Stereolab channeling their Neu! infatuations through the West coast punk scene. Musical Youth will certainly be one of the bolder and more rewarding statements issued from Atlanta this year.

Stream the entire album and scope out the unsettling, NSFW video for "Playful Stands" below.

★★★★☆

Musical Youth by POLISH NAILS



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