Fresh Stream

NATIVE AMERICA – BAD WEED / BUT STILL WEED

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I feel like the guys from Native America recorded this whole album with shaking hands – there’s a jittery quality in these recordings that does wonders for their alt-pop/powerpop/shoegaze sound. Take “Habits”: that jittery touch makes the trio fall head-first into a tambourine-driven groove injected with fiery blues-rock, before cutting the phrases short and letting that chaos simmer. Similar rhythmic stalls fuel “Lonely Tonight”, where thick, chugging guitar interludes are cut at just the right moment to propel the song forwards. But what’s truly interesting to me is how the Native America crew weaves together a myriad of textures, sometimes within the same song. The vocals of “Heroine” hum in octaves, and the bass and drums lay down a basic 2&4 (again, with that shaking tambourine), but the trio darkens those pop elements with deftly placed crash cymbals and tension-soaked chords; “Digital Lobotomy” lurches into ratty Krill-esque pockets but slides into a Motown waltz, complete with walking bass and swinging drum accents. As “Lull / Fate, TX” slowly rises from a jazzy moonlight ballad to gritty inverted power chords, it becomes clear that these guys aren’t afraid to cross genre boundaries – I think they relish it, actually – and as the bass flicks on the overdrive and the guitar falls further back into a whirling rotary smokescreen, all those textures coalesce into a sound that is surprisingly menacing. Stream this zinger below, follow the band on their website, and let this release spin your top.

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