Local Natives has hit the independent music scene at an accelerating pace, creating worldwide buzz on blogs and media sites alike. Coming from Silver Lake, California, they have moved from residency nights at the trendy venue Spaceland in Los Angeles to sold out shows in London and Paris.
Gorilla Manor, Local Native’s first full-length, stumbles upon a sound full of warm tones, reverb, harmonies and rhythmic intricacy. With previous comparisons to bands such as Grizzly Bear and Radiohead, Local Natives has created their own take on the indie rock music being fashioned today. Gorilla Manor is Local Native’s most impressive set of tracks to date that deliver from beginning to end.
The first track, “Wide Eyes,” is one of the more remarkable tracks on the record. With repetition of harmonized youthful lyrics such as, “Oh, to see it with my own eyes,” combined with intricate, well-blended guitar picking and multiple percussion rhythm, the track sets the tone for how the rest of the album follows. The carefully crafted track truly expresses what makes Local Natives stand out as a band.
Following further into the album, “Camera Talk” captures a more upbeat feel for the record. Again, multiple percussion and vocal harmonies are the highlight of this track, which is a prominent trend throughout the album. With lines like, “Does the city have a curfew? Though you know it’s good to see you too,” they embrace once again an adolescent setting, which is refreshing in a young rock group. In this track and briefly throughout the album, violin is featured which expands their sound, as it is unexpected of the album.
Towards the end of the record, Local Natives took on quite a feat to cover the hit sensation “Warning Sign” by Talking Heads. Though they stuck to the original bassline for the track, they opted to give the song their own twist by replacing David Byrne’s signature vocal style with their own three-part harmonies. Though it’s difficult to compare to the 1978 recording, Local Natives took the song and made it their own as all well-done covers should and stood notable alongside and apart from the original.
The album ends on a lighter note with “Sticky Thread,” which stands its ground amongst highlighted tracks such as “Who Knows Who Cares” and “Shape Shifter.”
In a seemingly stale music industry, Gorilla Manor is a unique, breath of fresh air. The band is still young, and with them playing SXSW and Coachella slots this year, it seems we have yet to see the big things that are to come for this new act.