Friday, December 3, 2010
Local Natives: Gorilla Manor
First released in the U.K. in late 2009, Gorilla Manor appeared on [digital] shelves in the U.S. in early 2010. Local Natives, from Los Angeles, benefited from the British buzz and hit the ground running in February.
The cultural name-dropping (NPR's World News, Cubism, teaching abroad in Japan) earned the band a comparison to Vampire Weekend (for the "Oxford Comma" action), but beyond that footnote, the comparison is unwarranted in my mind. Local Natives doesn't sound terribly influenced by afropop more than the Dodos do (prevalence of drums in "Wide Eyes" and "Sun Hands" -- the former is the album's opening track and the latter was the album's advance single).
The percussion on a few songs may be afropop-influenced, but on several tracks ("Who Knows Who Cares," "Camera Talk," "World News," and "Airplanes") I think Local Natives sound more like Maroon5 than Vampire Weekend (and that's not necessarily a knock; "Airplanes" is my favorite song from Gorilla Manor):
Blurb: Not sure if it was worth the hype, but Local Natives usually manages to fuse a percussion-driven, piano-featured, and guitar-guided sound into cohesive songs.