Posture - Never Knows Best [EP] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Never Knows Best [EP] (2015)

Manic Staic

Posture is an exciting young band from St. Louis, Missouri. On their first proper EP, Never Knows Best, the band debuts with a strikingly focused sound and aesthetic.

Opening track “2” sets the tone for the release. Dual guitarists Allison Durham and Nick Goldschmidt smash their reverbed, distorted lines against each other creating a noisy, clanging mass that feels like a slow descent. The intentional chaos of a band like Sonic Youth is abutted against the bold, flowing lines akin to the Pixies. Then, the whole thing is then covered in a modern feedback-heavy sheen.

Meanwhile, Goldschmidt howls in the kind of anguish trademarked by post-punk. There’s a bit of gang of Four and bit of Wire in his delivery- and maybe a little Ian Curtis- and the result in a cagey cadence that wavers between a detached cold and red, hot heat. This kind of rapturous delivery can be what makes or breaks a band- the crew rising into a sort of unpredictable, enthralling mass or descending into bland, white noise. Here, it’s the former, thanks in part to drummer Shawn Durham (twin sister to Allsion) who keeps the beats hard and fast. Texture and mood is nice, but if you don’t have a muscled up chassis to support the rig, all you get is dough. Shawn Durham knows this and gives her two bandmates plenty of power to work off of.

Likewise, on “Place” and “Avoid,” Allison takes the mic and conjures a sort of Slumberland Records vulnerability. She up front in her intonation without being mawkish. So many artists try to forge a sort of identity through the way they sing, without focusing on what they are saying. Here, Allison flips that flop and gives a straightforward, if somewhat sly, delivery while painting abstract visions. It works quite well, especially when her call is supported by a spiraling, thrashing guitar line.

The release closes out with an excellent cover of the rare-ish track “Janitor” by Suburban Lawns, and that choice tells you most of what you need to know. Here is a punk band that’s not afraid to embrace the art-y side of things but avoids coming off as pretentious. This is a clever, intriguing, promising debut. I expect great things from this trio.