Albums, Indie Rock, Reviews

Local Natives – Gorilla Manor

0 Comments 28 July 2010

Album Review

Rating: 7.25/10

Combine the clearness of Fleet Foxes, the afro-beats from Dodos and the cleverness of Pinback.  Add a healthy dose of energy and you’re listening to the Local Natives.

From LA, they display none of the arrogance you might expect, and provide a surprising amount of little-guy understanding.  Earlier this year they dropped their first full length to the US, Gorilla Manor, after releasing the same album to impressive reviews in the UK.

Throughout the album, the drumming is fast-paced and impressive, though many songs force you to get through a slow-building momentum that is ultimately worth the pay-off.   Synth and violin are peppered into guttural and delicate riffs that will wow you.  They hit you with a combination of energy and clarity, which may be their most distinguishing trait.  They miss beats you want them to miss and hit the off-beats that pleasantly surprise you.  They’re happy to confuse you, and happy to keep it simple.  Our biggest knock is the blue-balls effect of the album: few of their songs deliver that proper release a seasoned band would.

The record kicks off with three amazing tracks in “Wide Eyes,” “Airplane,” and “Sun Hands.”  But if you give the record just one listen, make sure you play “Camera Talk.”  It is a complex number with intelligent lyrics, sprinkled with irregular and playful guitar notes, complimentary violin, and the fantastic drumming and vocal harmonies we’ve come to expect.

“Camera Talk” is succeeded by “Cards and Quarters” which produces a pleasant sound, but at a slower tempo than its predecessor.  Album-wise, “Cards and Quarters” is placed exactly where it should be.  The album continues picking up steam shortly thereafter with “Who Knows Who Cares,” which became a fast favorite of ours for its apparent simplicity.   even take an opportunity to flex their cred-muscles with an excellent cover of Talking Heads “Warning Sign.”

will compete in our humble book for the year’s best.  In sum, we’re dealing with a legitimate new band that has enough vision to craft incredible albums.  Pay attention, kids.

1. Wide Eyes     7.5/10
2. Airplane     8.0/10
3. Sun Hands     7.5/10
4. World News     7.0/10
5. Shape Shifter     7.0/10
6. Camera Talk     8.0/10
7. Cards and Quarters     7.0/10
8. Warning Sign     6.5/10
9. Who Knows Who Cares     7.5/10
10. Cubism Dream     7.0/10
11. Stranger Things     7.5/10
12. Sticky Thread     7.0/10

Genre: Indie Rock

(Frenchkiss Records, 2010)


Raoul Duke

Raoul Duke - who has written 2 posts on Slap The Bass.

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