Going back to Friday night, what I consider the best new American act of the year took to the Bowery Ballroom stage. The Los Angeles-based Local Natives put on the kind of set that people will be talking about when the band hits the larger venues. What's impressive with these guys is how found a unique voices that reminds you of your favorite popular indie bands, yet they have no direct influence you can pin them too.
- World News
- Camera Talk
- Warning Sign
- Cards and Quarters
- Cubism Dream
- Shape Shifter
- Wide Eyes
- Stranger Things
- Sticky Thread
- ENCORE: Who Knows, Who Cares
- Sun Hands
It's not often that I join the immense accolades that are often bestowed upon these rising bands. I try to hold back until I hear a full-length album or a proper set. Well, now that both in my brain, lets throw rose pedals on the floor that they walk.
Starting with their debut album, Gorilla Manor, which doesn't have a boring moment in it. What grabs you first is their three-part harmonies that invigorates and propels the songs into different levels of excitement. I kept on thinking of Crosby, Still and Nash when you hear something like Cards and Quarters. Obviously, Fleet Foxes come to mind when you hear those echo effects of the guitars and the vocals. Then just when you think its some another Pacific-Northwest or modern southern rock band, here comes those dense percussion which gives the album and the band, a whole new complexity. People compare them to Grizzly Bear, and I don't see it. Local Natives have rock out qualities that G.B. don't have.
On Friday's show, with David Byrne perched above in the balcony to see "Warning Sign" performed, they took those songs and belted them out with ease and efficiency. There wasn't a moment where I wanted a song to be over for being to boring or dull. Even slow songs like Cubism Dream had a steady pulse that made it interesting. Where they shine are those moments where all the members seem to let loose and stomp around on stage. Lead singer Taylor Rice, who has the whole John Oates look going on, would step back from the mic to beat the hell out of guitar. Meanwhile, the duel drummers bang away with reckless abandon. Ending with the rock freak-out of "Sun Hands" was inspired.
This was the perfect moment to see the band, they've had a year's worth of small shows and opening spots to become better players, and they are not too big to be seen in some crummy, crowded venue.
I can live without Suckers. What a load of bullocks. This is the kind of Brooklyn band that seems to come from the scene with no structure or purpose, other then to be experimental and just be a weird for the sake of being weird. The lead singer walking out with face covered in writing, like he passed out and friends decide to draw a dick and balls on him.
There's nothing that grabs my attention, their plodding songs, their warped out electronics or their nonsensical vocals, which are mostly just "ohhhhhhs" and "ahhhhhhh". They play each song like they're half-asleep. Meanwhile, I'm ready to go fully asleep