Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
Right here is where my dark room exists. Naam has done this to me - or rather, for me. It's like a man cave, where you can just throw your stinky tube socks into the corner, filthy-bottomed and reeking like moldy potato chips and urine, or something like urine, maybe more like a fungus. It's a place where none of the furniture was built after the Regan years, most of it the kind of hand-me-downs that should just be dropped off at the dump - in such an unsavory shape. It's a place where there are old Penthouse magazines by the crateful, all smelling of mildewy basement dwelling and all filled with the natural, beautifully tan-lined breasts of real women who would never be found in those kind of magazines these days, not even if they paid to be in them. It's here that the Brooklyn band Naam makes us feel as if we belong, even if we never thought that such a place would feel some homey to us. They've gone ahead and done us a favor and taped black bedsheets over all of the windows that may have previously seemed primed for gazing out of and daydreaming. They've taped them tightly so that there's not one little pinhole of yellow light that can push itself into the room. It's just artificial light, our thoughts (about walking through the coldest frost where the frogs and the birds - we think - are either biting or fighting the air; we think that it doesn't matter one way or the other; the point is that it's cold and things are up to no good), something stiff to wash them down with and of course, we can't forget about those porno magazines that are just there if some inspiration is needed. Naam must use rooms like this to their advantage as well, with guitarist Ryan Lugar, bassist John Bundy and drummer Eli Pizzuto drawing from such a black hole of obscurity and mind-warping solidarity, the kind of punishing, devil's kiss of skuzzy and driving rock and roll music. It's music that expresses itself primarily in its instinctual ways, giving the outburst and baring the teeth. It's bad to the bone and it makes you feel as if you could somewhat turn out a similar way as the reasons for feeling the way Naam feels doesn't seem as if it's irrational, as some hardcore and moody psychedelic bands tend to make their ire. This ire is justified and all the darker.