Short And Sweet NYC Album Review
By: John J Frusciante
Native - Wrestling Moves (Sargent House)
Formed in Indiana in 2007, Native plays gritty, churning post-hardcore that bursts forward on throbbing rhythms and aggressive guitar lines and sounds like
13 Songs-era Fugazi mixed with Cobra Kai. This full-length debut follows their well-received EP We Delete; Erase and lives up to the band’s hype, buzzing with jolts of electric adrenaline from start to finish. It’s no surprise this effort was produced by Chris Common of These Arms Are Snakes; all the genre’s bells and whistles are here, including staccato rhythms, vocals chanted far away from microphones, colorful melodies that build to huge chords. Opener “Backseat Crew” is a swirling powerhouse that ebbs and flows on huge crashing waves of sharp guitars and deftly-played drums and shows of one of the great strengths of this album: dazzling and perfectly-placed changes in tempo. “Shirts and Skins” has the push and pull of a solidly built machine whose parts work together flawlessly. Vocalist/bassist Bobby Markos’s lyrics lamenting the failures of communication and relationships and railing against old systems are half spoken and half screamed with raspy, acidic desperation. The instrumental “Mason Jars” and the mostly-instrumental “Marco Polo” are so solid that it’s easy to imagine Native putting out an album of instrumental songs that would stand up on its own. Wrestling Moves is built on tight, exacting song structures. It’s aggressive. It means something. Native gets it and they know what they’re doing. There’s a passion here that is left out of the flimsy efforts of many who try emulating this style. Clearly, they’ve shed serious sweat in unfinished basements screaming into mics and blowing out amplifiers while surrounded by tight circles of kids clad in hooded sweatshirts and Floor punch t-shirts. With Wrestling Moves, that loss of sweat is our gain.