L.A. band’s full-length debut bridges coasts
In recent years, West Coast rock has become hazier (No Age), noisier (HEALTH) and woodsier (Fleet Foxes) compared to the East Coast’s more melodic (Grizzly Bear), cosmopolitan (Dirty Projectors) and experimental (Animal Collective) style. And with their much-anticipated full-length debut, former SXSW darlings Local Natives unify the camps, bridging Brooklyn’s tumbling tribal rhythms, rousing choruses and sophisticated pop arrangements with the CSNY harmonies, guitar eruptions and straightforward hooks of their Left Coast neighbors.
The band’s clear vocals and well-cultured namedropping of European cities and NPR make Vampire Weekend an easy comparison, though the Natives’ anthemic arrangements are more self-consciously grandiose. Gorilla Manor is a bit too much of an amalgamation of its bi-coastal influences to really stake out any territory of its own, but it’s a handy synthesis of two prevailing sounds.