Local Natives
Gorilla Manor


3.5
great

Review

by Andru Okenuf USER (31 Reviews)
October 19th, 2010 | 16 replies | 1,637 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A solid first album by a band on the up and up

I heard Gorilla Manor blasting from my suitemate's room for weeks before I decided to check it out. Though they don’t have a sound that is unlike many of the other guys making music right now (Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear, et al), there is a certain beat lying at the back of these tracks that makes Local Natives a lot of fun to listen to.

‘Sun Hands’ is most likely the first track that will grab you and rightfully so. The most distinct song these guys have recorded, this song is a clear standout. Cool percussion backs up some very personal vocals. These guys even rock out a bit towards the end of the song.

'Wide Eyes' is another early standout. The opening track grabs you, as a little guitar riff merge seamlessly with the drum track and Taylor Rice takes over: 'Oh some evil spirit oh some evil this way comes.' Drums, guitar and vocals all have their time in this song and each solo compliments the other parts perfectly. 'Airplanes' and 'World News' help provide an early feel that is shaken off by the mediocre 'Shape Shifter.'

As a result, not enough people even arrive at the incredibly under-appreciated 'Cards & Quarters.' This is a track that starts off slow and never really picks up like other upbeat album tracks, but before letting you go, the song begins to go in two different directions at once, with competing lyrics sounding off in beautiful discord before all vocals stop at a cliffhanging riff. The similarly veined 'Who Knows Who Cares' is another change-up which you can't help but feel sucked into. Though he says 'Who Cares,' you can feel the passion behind his words as strings tug at your heartstrings.

Balancing out the back half of the album are the more upbeat 'Camera Talk' and 'Warning Sign.' The former sets a great pace and has the greatly harmonized and memorable line, "And even though I can't be sure / memory tells me that these times are worth working for." The latter, a Talking Heads cover, manages to outdo the original, and fits perfectly as an upbeat gem.

But 'Cubism Dream' is its own beast entirely. The band demonstrates an incredible amount of maturity on a first album as it explores the abstract nature of our ideals. Though the final 2 tracks, 'Stranger Things' and 'Sticky Thread,' serve primarily to bring you down and send you on your way, the album has by now taken you on a tribal adventure through the indie-inspired lives of a group of rambunctious 20-somethings, a ride that is so easy to take over and over again.

Despite a significant drop-off to close the front half of the album and a less than perfect ending, this is nonetheless an excellent album. And with the percussion adding just its touch of originality, almost anyone can enjoy it. Whether these guys are simply a one and done effort or if they can actually muster up a bit of momentum behind this first release, I don’t know, but I am eagerly awaiting their sophomore effort.


Recommended Tracks
Wide Eyes
Cards and Quarters
Cubism Dream
Sun Hands

Skippable
Shape Shifter


Overall 3.7/5

(This review was edited on Feb 24 so that it wasn't a listed track by track. Track descriptions in this version are nearly the same as in the original review)



Recent reviews by this author
The xx CoexistThe Future Sound of London Lifeforms
Tricky MaxinquayeAnais Mitchell Young Man in America
Exoplanet Nothing Divides Us HereNicolas Jaar Don't Break My Love
user ratings (315)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Keelan H. EMERITUS (4)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
morrissey
Moderator
October 20th 2010



1688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Decent first review. I would avoid giving play-by-plays of the song ("the guitar does this, 40 seconds later the drums do that" etc.) but you hve good elements here. Keep at it and you will flesh out a style that conveys your ideas a little better. We look forward to more from you.

As to the album, it's definitely up my alley. I agree with your assessment - it's not a fantastic record but it does hit the spot and bodes well for the future.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
October 20th 2010



14991 Comments


great albm

DiceMan
October 20th 2010



7068 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Is a really great album. I actually like World News more than some of the others though.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
October 20th 2010



14991 Comments


tracks 1 2 4 9 are probably the ones i turn to most

merriweather
October 20th 2010



619 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album! Needed a review. But yeah I agree with morrissey, too much play-by-play but not a bad review~ :]

thebhoy
Emeritus
October 20th 2010



4459 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

tbt are generally fround upon yadda yadda yadda.

Merriweather what are you talking about I reviewed this when it was released.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 20th 2010



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Ignore Keelan at your own peril.

Album rules & would be top 5 of whatever year it was released, except no-one heard it in the year that it was released. :-(

Skimaskcheck
October 20th 2010



2360 Comments


oh some evil spirit oh some evil this way comesssss

sklart
October 20th 2010



1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

fantastic..heard this for the first time in late 2009 and it was on my top list!

world news is the best track on the album and it absolutely fits.

SEEING THEM SATURDAY

North0House
October 20th 2010



1764 Comments


I heard their cover of a Talking Heads Song on Dallas Does Indie about a year ago. I really liked their sound, but didn't know they released an album. I'll check it out.

thebhoy
Emeritus
October 20th 2010



4459 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

also I can't spell frowned apparently. Oh hi Daveyyy

merriweather
October 20th 2010



619 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lol well the more reviews the better.

aok
October 20th 2010



4318 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hmm -- a lot more love out there for world news than i would have guessed. i like the track but it never changes its emotional level or adds any kind of innovation that isn't more prevalent in other songs. i can't help but see it as a weaker track on a great album. i'd be happy to hear why you think i'm wrong though.

didn't realize tbt is generally frowned upon. i actually based the format of this review somewhat on med57's review of kid a, since it was one of my favorites on the site (the more details with which you express your love for kid a the better). i'm gonna try another tonight hopefully, or if not, some time in the coming days.

North0House
October 21st 2010



1764 Comments


Meh, I gave it a listen. I didn't like it lol. I dunno, I guess I just like the Warning Sign cover of theirs. Probably cuz it's by Talking Heads, so it's a great song either way.

morrissey
Moderator
October 21st 2010



1688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"didn't realize tbt is generally frowned upon. i actually based the format of this review somewhat on med57's review of kid a, since it was one of my favorites on the site (the more details with which you express your love for kid a the better). i'm gonna try another tonight hopefully, or if not, some time in the coming days."

This is an interesting comment. Med57 is one of the icons of this site but most of his reviews (and many of the older users like Bartender, myself, Iai's early ones etc.) were from a simpler time, many before this site even existed. They were ported over from the "CD Reviews" section of the main forums, or from the first ~year of this site well before our current style of review was established. I applaud Med's eternal influence regardless. ;)

aok
October 21st 2010



4318 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oh man, NorthOHouse, I just don't know what's not to like. camera talk, wide eyes, sun hands did nothing for ya? i really went back and forth on whether this was a 3.5 or a 4 for me. i still haven't quite decided

@ morrissey, glad to see you approve of the reviews i'm looking up to



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy