Washington, D.C.-based band, Priests have been steadily garnering attention and building a buzz over the course of releasing a few singles and the well-received 2014 EP, Bodies and Control and Money and Power. Earlier this year, after logging a few more years of touring and writing, Priests have taken the next step and delivered their debut album Nothing Feels Natural. The album, released on Priests’ own label, Sister Polygon Records, is an evolution of their sound. The experimentation and raw punk ferocity of their earlier releases has been harnessed, polished slightly, and infused with elements of indie rock and new wave. Following on the heels of the album release, Priests have started 2017 on the tour trail for a run of headlining North American shows, including a stop at the Pinhook in Durham NC.
Wearing a teal party dress, Priests singer and frontwoman Katie Alice Greer commanded attention from the moment the band took the stage. She was a bundle of energy prowling the stage and leaning into the crowd while roaring her vocals with fierce emotion. Greer’s entrancing stage presence may be at the forefront of a Priests performance, but it is the band behind her playing as a tight unit that drives the experience. Drummer Daniele Daniele is unassuming behind the kit, but rock solid. She hits shockingly hard and drives the proceedings. Filling out the rumbling low end were the insistent bass lines of Taylor Mulitz. While the deceptively unassuming, guitarist G.L. Jaguar provided the distinctive surf soaked guitar lines. Throughout the set, centered on the songs from Nothing Feels Natural, the intensity never wavered. Each band member played off each other and the elation emanating from the captivated audience. On stage and caught up in the moment, Priests embodied the spirit of punk and delivered an infectious performance that was well worth venturing out on a Sunday night.
Opening the evening was local Durham post-punk band Truthers. The middle slot fell to punk duo Hand Grenade Job. Sharing Priests hometown of Washington D.C., Hand Grenade Job consists of Guitarist Beck Levy and drummer Erin McCarley, who play minimalist songs that address politically sensitive topics like Feminism and police brutality.