Politicized Washington, DC punks Priests cracked our list of 2013’s 40 Best New Bands largely on the strength of their rousing live show. As someone who caught the band opening for Ex Hex last week, I can attest to the unnerving, electrifying presence of lead singer Katie Alice Glass and the organic connectivity that allows this band to wield such fearsome power. Priests’ frenetic rhythms and unhinged bass spasms hearken to historic DC noisemakers Fugazi, the Dismemberment Plan, Q And Not U, and Bikini Kill. But despite their obvious heritage, this band’s unique presence is unmistakable, particularly the approachable yet fiercely confrontational way Glass leads the charge. Even if she didn’t have such a way with words the sheer bracing immediacy of her stage presence would tell you she’s got something to say.
But if we’re going to hail the live show, let’s not for the slim but formidable collection of tapes and 7-inches Priests have kicked out these past three years, a discography that’s about to grow by one. This June, Don Giovanni and Sister Polygon are co-releasing Bodies And Control And Money And Power, a seven-song burst of big noise and big ideas. The first track to be shared, “Right Wing,” is perhaps the most straightforward and poppy song Priests have recorded. It reminds me first and foremost of mid-career Sleater-Kinney, when that band applied its fiery spirit to swinging, swaggering rock songs with choruses that bloomed from sing-song melodies to searing shouts. Check it out.
1. Design Within Reach
5. Modern Love / No Weapon
6. Right Wing
7. And Breeding