It’s the way in which Women’s sophomore album bursts alive with a chaotic stream of discordant noise,

fully intent on grabbing attention at the first given opportunity, that serves as an instant warning that what follows is going to be far from an easy listen.

What ensues is a moodaltering eleven-track lesson in Velvet Underground referencing, avant-garde experimentalism, and it’s due to this arduous nature that ‘Public Strain’

requires heavy concentration and repeated listening before the magnitude of both its complexity and sonical scope can be fully absorbed.

Beneath the heavy, upper layers of pretension and atonal feedback that poignantly crust this record,

lies a thinner slab of almost traditional Sixties song-writing craft that binds it all together and stops

‘Public Strain’ from falling into being a disorganised mess.

“I argued with Dennis a lot about that,” says Nathan. “That was a big one. I was a little bit nervous at first and wanted to bury my vocals like before.Women And Dennis was like,

‘no, I don’t think I’m gonna do that. I’m gonna put my foot down right now’,” says Nathan in a stereotypical southern twang.

“But after the second song I kinda got used to it. I was a little insecure, that was my deal, Women but I’d never want to say that because it makes me sound like a pussy.”

Billy: “I heard the dude from The Strange Boys, the first time he heard his
voice without reverb at Jay Reatard’s house, he cried. Women And other guys in the band said it’s true.”

On Herring’s part, it was a masterstroke that’s given ‘King Of The Beach’ its most notable departure in sound. Before,

we were uncertain what Nathan was singing about, or if he could actually ‘sing’ at all; now,

there’s no question that he can, and his new songs are full of youthful exhilaration, love, defiance and a sizeable whack of selfloathing.

He sings “I hate myself, man, but who’s to blame / I guess I’m just fucked up, or too insane” on ‘Take on The World’, “I bet you laugh right behind my back!”

on ‘Idiot’, and “My own friends hate my guts / So what? Who gives a fuck?” on ‘Green Eyes’.

A lot of the time these sentiments of doubt ride a wave of melodic, upbeat, pop grunge, but Nathan Williams is clearly a little hard on himself.

“Sometimes,” he says “but I also talk about how awesome I am too, like on ‘King Of The Beach’.

Everybody always talks about, in interviews now, ‘do you hate yourself?’. Well, yeah, I do. I have to hang out with these jokers all day. You’d hate yourself too!”

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