Thursday, February 18, 2010

Local Natives - "Gorilla Manor"

This week Frenchkiss Records released Gorilla Manor, the highly anticipated debut by So Cal’s Local Natives. Already a hit in the UK after last year’s stand-out SXSW performances, they are ready to capitalize on the buzz and Gorilla Manor does not disappoint.

“Wide Eyes” opens the album with shimmery guitars and vocal harmonies along with jittery, clicking percussion for a great introduction to the band’s sound. “Airplanes” has a loose, good-time vibe that runs throughout the album even though the vivid lyrics deal with the loss of a grandfather. One of the standout tracks on an album filled with them is “Sun Hands” with sunny harmonies and a freak-out bridge with shouted group vocals and an out of left field guitar solo. The vocal harmonies on “World News” reach to the sky for a big, enthusiastic sound with galloping drums and a guitar line just as catchy as the chorus. Songs like “Shape Shifter” and “Cubism Dream” are more moody and emotional with beautiful vocal that harness the grace of Jeff Buckley. The rhythm section races on “Camera Talk” before pulling into the pit stop for a one-note organ breakdown on the chorus to great effect. A nice surprise is their cover of Talking Heads’ “Warning Sign”, the three-part harmonies that replace the original’s nervous vocals makes the song theirs without inducing eye-rolls and becoming a distraction from the rest of the album.

Combining the sophisticated harmonies and song structures of Grizzly Bear and Fleet Foxes with the tribal rhythms of The Dodos, they have created a blogger’s dream record and an album of the year contender.

Download “Sun Hands” here:


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