With their long awaited debut album, Gorilla Manor officially releasing in the US on February 16; 2009 has been a helluva year for the quintet, Local Natives out of Silverlake, CA. First making waves with their insanely busy lineup at SXSW 09 and creating an ear popping buzz familiar to that of Vampire Weekend, who's previous year in DIY-101 made them the most talked about band in 2008. Much like the latter, Local Natives' music is ten times better than one could write or describe. Drawing a likeness to a range of bands from Fleet Foxes, Yeasayer and Rogue Wave; but not at all limited to those and at the same time so much more exuding excitement and an energetic explosion of originality when performing. Spending the majority of the year on tour, the band has made it's rounds nationwide and are slowly creeping through the UK and the rest of Europe.
At this point a nice selection of tracks from Gorilla Manor have been revealed either at live shows or online via Daytrotter or Myspace. I know the guys have been willing and excited to cross the Atlantic or tour barns within the Midwest to share their catalog of genre blending high-energy symphonies. Themes and subject matter varies throughout the selection of songs heard thus far, but many focus on the person, one molds themselves into as an adult and the nostalgia and childlike tendencies brought to surface as this new persona takes face. At times swapping out vocalist duties, it seems as though there is a true collaborative effort by these guys to share their tales on life. I definitely have a biased opinion, but feel its well justified when I say Local Natives have put forth the necessary effort to create a presence while exhibiting the staying power with an original direction in music. I have had the opportunity to see the band at the Bowery Ballroom and locally at Lincoln Hall, and am already anticipating seeing them more in 2010. Frenchkiss Records is releasing Gorilla Manor, February 16 in the US.