OUR BROTHER THE NATIVE Make Amends for We Are Merely Vessels Fat Cat
“Epic” is probably the best word to use. Yes, that will do nicely for now. It’s clear from the outset – actually from the moment you clock the band name and album title – that Our Brother the Native take gigantic, ambitious strides. What’s the point in staring at your feet when you could be gazing at the stars?
Our Brother the Native are three youngsters from Michigan and California, and their second album comes with familiar ties. There are the quiet-loud-quiet sonic cathedrals under whose spires Sigur Rós and friends gather to worship. There are the dreamy, creamy expanses of fluffy sounds much beloved of the new shoegazers. There are flashes of experimental brilliance to remind you of Animal Collective and friends at their most wayward. There’s also the odd passage when the band refreshingly just yell it all out with a blood-curdling scream or two.
Our Brother the Native certainly know about timing. As each track builds from ambient interference and hazy flutters into a wall of sound and drones, the players control each break and movement. It’s this ability to temper excesses with compelling sonic dexterity that makes such tracks as We Are the Living and As They Fell Beneath Us into graceful, elegant fusions of sound and fury.
Yet Make Amends . . . is more than just the sum of its post-rock parts. There’s a thematic intensity in the lengthy passages of music, which build and recoil with rasps, rackets and roars. Our Brother the Native valiantly attempt to articulate something other than just emo or hardcore’s usual obsession with post-apocalyptic ennui, or the beautifully pitched but ultimately empty-headed textures of dream-pop.
These kids know that sometimes it has to be more than just about putting blood – or beauty – in the music. It may take them another album to realise just where this search will lead, but it’s a journey you’ll be glad to take with them. www.myspace.com/ourbrotherthe native
Download tracks: We Are the Living, Rejoice, As They Fell Beneath Us
Band of brothers: tempering excesses