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The Natural History
The Natural History
StarTime International

The newer of two recent EPs from the Brooklyn-based trio the Natural History, on StarTime International, walks a fine line between loud rock and roll and smart pop. The music teeters in both directions yet doesn’t lose its balance. The opening song, “Telling Lies Will Get You Nowhere,” is prime aggressive rock, showcasing a powerful riff by the singer/guitarist Max Tepper and a straight-ahead, bombastic drum beat by Derek Vockins that remind me of Amphetamine Reptile or Touch and Go bands of years past. Tepper’s stuffy-head, achy-fever voice is drudging at first and sometimes hard to understand, but slowly warms up and mirrors perfectly the mood of the music. “So He’ll Say” starts out understated but then bursts into a catchy chorus. The craft of songwriting and organization is clearly not lost on the group; each tune is tightly arranged and fat free. The EP’s closer, “Broken Language,” begins with a thick bass line by Julian Tepper, then adds more succinct razor-sharp guitar, and ends with a sing-songy “Who-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh!” that wouldn’t be out of place on an oldies radio station.

Originally published in ‘Sup 10 (2002).


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