Gorilla Manor is the debut album for L.A. based Local Natives. They have been gaining momentum since their album released in February and don’t seem like they will be slowing down anytime soon. They have reached # 3 on the New Artist Chart section of the Billboard 200.
Gorilla Manor consists of twelve very intricate and charming songs. The record has a sense of liveliness and reaches out to human abilities, emotions and reactions. “Wide Eyes” is the first track on the record that begins with open guitar sounds that create a sort of wave with the introduction of the three part harmonies that remain consistent throughout the entire record. The best song on the record is their single, entitled “Airplanes”. It begins with background clips of booing and moves into a strong piano introduction and follows much of the same pattern as the first song before getting to the bridge. Once you arrive towards the middle of the record it starts to drag in a somewhat different way than it started. There are a few sections that remind us of the initial attraction to the band.
“Camera Talk” is one of my least favorites, I don’t think it draws the same tone as the first few songs does on the record. It sounds very typical for the current trend running around lately, laying heavy like a Vampire Weekend tune. It is somewhat frustrating that the drummer has a typical knack for hitting his sticks on the sides of his drum, sounding like a constant clicking. It is a pretty typical technique for a band that otherwise, has more sophisticated instrumentation. However, what separates Local Natives are the three part harmonies. They aren’t mistaken for bad a-cappella, but are used to express the unification that this band has among its members. They know what the right dose is and they execute it well on this record. They have a way with their passive instrumentation and beautifully placed harmonizing vocals that wind up and smooth out every song.
Overall, the lyrics are cleaver and gentle, even endearing without fussing with bad metaphors. One of the lines in “Airplanes” says, “I bet when I leave my body to the sky the wait will be worth it”. It has a gorgeous melody to prop up the great writing, which is something most bands struggle with. Gorilla Manor is a record you might feel you have heard before but with a familiar memory that gives you happiness. Gorilla Manor is one of the best records that I have heard all year; I am sure it will be included in many of the top lists for 2010.