The Naturals have fallen in with Bristol’s Young Echo crowd, despite being a ‘band’ in the traditional sense of the word. But they treat their tracks like electronic producers, with songs like ‘Axe’ being swathed in digital treatments and interesting sounds. Hive is a very strong collection of experimental songcraft, released on Howling Owl in an edition of just 250 copies.
LP £14.99 HOWL041
Gatefold LP on Howling Owl. Edition of 250 copies.
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Around the corner they are chuntering away about Ben Stiller. Will the work ever start round here? Meanwhile on my stereo the Naturals are cutting their vocals up into such a state my ear is forced to listen.
Despite being a band in all senses of the word, The Naturals are in with Bristol’s Young Echo collective and chop their music up in the same way as Leeds Vessels to but with rather different results. They make a moody dance/rock crossover, the vocals are very bold and yearning for this kind of venture but the Naturals spend the album reaching for the sky rather than sitting in the corner listening to Radiohead. What that does do though is make the pulsing Can like repetitions of ‘Axe’ aim rather too close to the stadium despite some truly delicious sound manipulation. I’m reminded of ‘Black Celebration’ era Depeche Mode crossed with the most experimental Muse album ever made with just nods of Moonshake in the propulsive drumming and pulsing bass.
The conclusion being that the Naturals have cleverly and inventively come up with a sound I don’t like.
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