Local Natives
Gorilla Manor


4.0
excellent

Review

by Keelan H. EMERITUS
February 27th, 2010 | 117 replies | 19,496 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist


Nobody likes coming late to a party. I don’t mean fashionably late, where everyone is just starting to have fun and there’s no lull. No; I mean the kind of late where you show up and everyone is too ***faced to function and all the best looking girls are taken. Case in point: St. Patrick’s Day 2009, I was stuck at a cash register until ten o’clock, and by the time I got to the party, everyone had just awoken from a “nap” (ie. passed out). When songs from Local Natives’ debut album Gorilla Manor began to appear on the internet, there was a danger that the band was simply going to come late to the party– all the indie kids would be passed out from their rye and Fleet Foxes (commonly known as a “Sun Giant”) or their gin and Veckatimests. Shades of Pecknold’s delicate yet forceful vocals and Grizzly Bear’s arrangement and composition style, are very clear markers of influence for the band. There’s a thin line in between influence, reference and rip-off. Local Natives come very close to the latter, but one thing keeps it from being rejected by the masses as artificial (because indie is so original): it’s so damn likeable.

There’s a vibrancy in these twelve tracks, hiding in every drum roll and bass rhythm. It’s a vibrancy that carries the album to heights that surprise the listener. Everything about the band seems so common, and yet the album has a treasure trove of tasty hooks. “The cistern is not even full,” states the main hook on the excellent reggae-via-garage rocker “Camera Talk”, somewhat ironic of an album jam packed with kinetic energy. It makes sense then, that the band decided to take on the elastic bass lines of the Talking Heads song “Warning Sign”. It works wonderfully well too, embodying the sense of fun that perpetuates from every memorable line on the album. Only closer “Sticky Thread” takes things down a notch, and unfortunately it feels unearned. The song loses the energy present in the better moments of the album and drags the end to a halt. It doesn’t necessarily ruin the album, which works surprisingly well as a cohesive unit with the amount of single oriented songs available and the unwavering tempo.

So Gorilla Manor triumphs in the sense that the listener doesn’t mind the lack of originality. Local Natives have branded a likeable mix of indie-rock and folk with an energetic core. With a rhythm section that can transition from slow groove to bombast at the flip of a switch, it’s easy to see where this energy comes from. Add in some harmony laden vocals (though there is better) and we have the blogospheres new darlings. Whether these ironically off-kilter (just look at the album art) L.A. rockers can maintain the nice bit of momentum started here, remains to be seen. For now we can sit back and enjoy the party. Let’s worry about the hangover tomorrow.



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user ratings (316)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Andru Okenuf (3.5)
A solid first album by a band on the up and up...


Comments:Add a Comment 
thebhoy
Emeritus
February 27th 2010



4459 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ugh, should've been done this awhile ago. Stupid real life and its stupid essays.

I really like this yeah, but it was so hard to write anything about this album. Essay hangover I guess. Speaking of which, I drank way too much for my birthday last night, but sexy girls are worth it.

Kiran
Emeritus
February 27th 2010



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

saw these guys last night actually, pretty fun show. the stand outs on this rule and i love listening to them on their own or to parts of the album in spurts but as a whole it just feels a bit tedious and a lot of it blends together.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
February 27th 2010



15732 Comments


this looked to me like unsubstantiated pitchfork hype when I saw it, so I didn't look into it.

thebhoy
Emeritus
February 27th 2010



4459 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^ Pretty true tbh. But I liked this a lot more then I thought... plus it was NPR hype that got me to listen to it, so I claim not to be jumping on p4k bandwagons.



AggravatedYeti
February 27th 2010



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like this review a lot.
mm hmmmm.

Kiran
Emeritus
February 28th 2010



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this looked to me like unsubstantiated pitchfork hype when I saw it, so I didn't look into it.

weirdly enough, these guys actually got a lot bigger in europe when this was released like half a year ago, so i'm surprised pitchfork didn't actually get on to it until now.

AggravatedYeti
February 28th 2010



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

p4k is late for a lot of things.
I think they've been trying to remove themselves from the hype more recently as they've gotten bigger. Releasing reviews way after the swell settles so as not to "forkify" the band I guess.

Donkey
March 12th 2010



152 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The review is good. I totally agree that they barely shy away from being a ripoff.

I think that they are destined for a brilliant album. This was great, but they have many avenues to pursue. If they choose the right path, then I'm definitely excited for the future.

Kiran
Emeritus
March 12th 2010



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i agree about that, they definitely have a terrific album in them. i particularly love the vocalist(s?), songs like 'who knows who cares' are so smoooooth.


this just falls a bit too safely in the midst of the retro/chamber-pop revival

thebhoy
Emeritus
March 12th 2010



4459 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

123

I really love Camera Talk and their cover of Warning Sign.

Blindsided
March 13th 2010



1871 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good stuff man.
pos; I am going to find this now.

tombits
March 17th 2010



3470 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this is pretty sweet... like a less subtle veckatimest.

Dielikehussayn
March 25th 2010



20 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Mmm yes, I quite enjoy this review.

cfbassist
March 25th 2010



330 Comments


cavil at rest > local natives

at least of what i heard from each


i should probably get this cd either way

therayder
April 12th 2010



487 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah it's kind of familiar, but I really like it. I'm eager to see what they come up with next.

MrCalum
April 23rd 2010



371 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Probably going to bump this very soon, i just can't stop thinking about Grizzly Bear and Fleet Foxes while listening to this!
Its got some very strong tracks and some really great moments.

okay bumped it, damn.

AtavanHalen
April 29th 2010



17927 Comments


Okay so wow

Airplanes is holy fuck kinds of good

In my top 5 songs of the year.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
May 11th 2010



23807 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, pos. My friend is nuts about this album. I've been convinced to check it out.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
June 29th 2010



4927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

top 5 for 2010 as of today. Simply gorgeous.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
June 30th 2010



15019 Comments


wide eyes is fucking awesome



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