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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the years best, so far......
I'll admit, I'm an amateur. I've never written a review. I just wanted the opportunity to recommend this cd to anyone interested in good music. Very easy to listen to, (but certainly not "easy listening" music). Nice layers and textures both musically and vocally. Not usually a fan of covers but do take exception with the fantastic "Warning Sign"/Talking Heads cover...
Published on March 16, 2010 by music fan

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great, Still Room For Growth
Without creative musical ideas, you're merely a poet with an instrument; without good lyrics, you're merely a soloist with a microphone. Local Natives still have room for lyrical growth, which accounts for half of a song.

That said, let me wholeheartedly compliment their musical endeavors in Gorilla Manor. The drive, the cohesion of harmonies, the...
Published on July 26, 2010 by C. Bradley


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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the years best, so far......, March 16, 2010
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This review is from: Gorilla Manor (Audio CD)
I'll admit, I'm an amateur. I've never written a review. I just wanted the opportunity to recommend this cd to anyone interested in good music. Very easy to listen to, (but certainly not "easy listening" music). Nice layers and textures both musically and vocally. Not usually a fan of covers but do take exception with the fantastic "Warning Sign"/Talking Heads cover. Hope to catch these guys on tour sometime in the near future. I have listened to this cd repeatedly over the past couple of weeks and it just keeps getting better.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Early contender for album of the year, February 25, 2010
This review is from: Gorilla Manor (Audio CD)
This album is right up there in terms of best debuts in recent years. It's a mixture of Fleet Foxes, Port O'Brien, and The Format all rolled into one. The vocal harmonies and the melodies are fantastic. The lyrics are creative and not cliched or trite like so many others. I'm not gonna write a full blown review but I felt Local Natives needed more love. I'd recommend this album to anyone who likes good music.
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41 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brit said it best: incandescent songs transcending genres, December 5, 2009
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This review is from: Gorilla Manor (Audio CD)
After hearing Local Natives play Los Angeles several times, I couldn't wait for Frenchkiss Records to release its USA version of Gorilla Manor next February, so I bought Infectious Records' EU version that dropped last month. (How ironic they've blown up huge in Europe and are still relatively unknown in the States!)

I have to thank a Brit called "The Wolf" for writing the following review of Gorilla Manor and Local Natives; The Wolf said it better than I could:

"Glorious Gorillas in Our Midst

Abso-blinkin-lutely loving this every-which-way. You're going to love it too. Promise.

As incandescent a bunch of songs as I've heard this year and there are a whole healthy dozen of them to be getting on with.

Local Natives hail from Silverlake, California, U.S.A.

They are Taylor Rice (guitar/vocals), Kelcey Ayer (keyboards/vocals), Ryan Hahn (guitar/vocals), Andy Hamm (bass) and Matt Frazier (drums) and together they make a distinctive and beautiful sound.

This is tricky stuff to pin-down so I'll leave it for someone more gifted in the realms of genre sub-divisions to fix this for us later.

What I found here transcends genre in so many ways.

It is BIG music. Heart-warming music. Enveloping and uplifting music. The melodies are complex and absorbing; the singing fresh and vividly alive. These young gentlemen are creating sounds of true substance!

You could plunge in anywhere really and be lifted up by the pure energy and enthusiasm of their committed performances.

Let me tell you about a few of these wonderful compositions.

'Camera Talk' manages to combine a viscerally raw rhythm, under-produced and untainted in the best possible way, with an intoxicating melody and delicious vocal harmonies.
The high-flying violin lifts the energy straight through the roof.

The spirit of CSN&Y lives on in 'Cards and Quarters'. Mr. Frazier's drums hold down a strong but simple beat around which the song unfolds in evermore complex layers. The last chiming chord hangs in the air like the aftertaste of a half-remembered dream.

There is a dream-like quality running through much of this album.

'Airplanes' is unquestionably one of the project's finest compositions. Good-humoured and uplifting in equal measure, I found myself completely (and willingly) swept away by the ensemble's prodigious musicality.

'Sun Hands' has so much passion it is at risk of spontaneously combusting and 'World News' is chock-full of a jolly kind of goodness rarely captured by any band in any time you might care to imagine. Joyful, rapturous stuff!

I'll shut up now !

It's good. It's very, very good ! It's the kind of music to make all of our lives just a little bit richer and more bearable.

(Oh Heck! Sorry I just can't help it.....'Shape Shifter' made just about every hair on my body - from nose to tail - stand to attention!)

I stumbled upon this truly inspiring little band entirely by accident.

Trust me on this one - it's glorious stuff !"
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great, Still Room For Growth, July 26, 2010
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This review is from: Gorilla Manor (MP3 Music)
Without creative musical ideas, you're merely a poet with an instrument; without good lyrics, you're merely a soloist with a microphone. Local Natives still have room for lyrical growth, which accounts for half of a song.

That said, let me wholeheartedly compliment their musical endeavors in Gorilla Manor. The drive, the cohesion of harmonies, the instrumentation, the distinct quality of sound: all commendable! Full chordal vocal harmonies are rare, and in that respect, Fleet Foxes are brought to mind in accompanying Local Natives in finding the fullest vocal sounds (harmonically). A melancholy, industrial, and full experimental sound exudes from this album.

In that respect, it would almost be far-reaching to assume this song or that is "the best" on the album. Every song is new! Every song contributes to the variety of this new sound! I will say, however, that pieces of songs such as "Cards & Quarters," "Shape Shifter," and "Who Knows Who Cares" are unexpected and appreciated breaks from the sometimes brash and monotonous drums that carry most of the album's moving, rhythmic sound. Some of the best moments on the album are without the tribal meandering of the drums. It could be argued that many songs share similar qualities, but I believe this to be an emerging consistency in the sound of Local Natives, not a lack of originality. We'll see with future material!

Back to lyrics. Let's be honest: lyrics play a large part (half) in making a song meaningful, relevant, and legitimate. I loved the album upon my first listening!... and then I listened to the lyrics. In that regard, Local Natives have room for experimenting with the connection between sound and lyrics, and that includes the rhythmic consideration of lyrics. For instance, "Airplanes" has the potential of moving every listener (okay, a stretch). But it makes me cringe to pay attention to the lyrics of this truly moving song. "Made of... made of... of wood" seems like such a powerful and climactic musical phrase, ruined by trite, unconnected thoughts. "Taught abroad... taught abroad... in Japan" follows this lyrical gem with hardly any relevance or rhyme, and it ruins what could have been such a moving lyrical thought. And there goes a third of the song already. It settles where it could have shined. Toward the middle of the song the lyrics include the word "encyclopedia" where perhaps two syllables should have gone. It reminds me of someone hopelessly ad-libing their improvised words to another tune. The trend continues in the track "Warning Sign." In this particular song the disappointing lyrics are "move my hair; move it around a lot; I don't care what I remember." Perhaps these lyrical shortcomings don't bother other listeners. To me, however, they scream inadequacy and inexperience. Luckily, the music is creative, engaging, driving, and skillfully executed. I'd be curious to find these lyrics accompanied with disappointing music; I doubt we'd have heard of the band. Local Natives are carried by their varying, original sound. In the coming years, I expect to find Local Natives with a larger audience after they find the emotional, rhythmic, and poetic nuances of their lyrics.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What just happened???, March 13, 2010
This review is from: Gorilla Manor (Audio CD)
Another pandora-found masterpiece.

Ok, the masterful harmonies weaved into these tunes are disarming..... having an almost fleet-fox like chant feel at times. And suddenly you're getting kicked in the face with some simple, but perfect growling guitar, only to be immediately transported back to choir-boy harmonies. And I can't say enough about the drumming... was this guy's drum-teacher a pack of wolves??? At times his style seems to come from a lost dimension... (try to change the tune 'Sun hands' during the intro.... you can't)

Can't wait to see these guys down in Denver. Check out the u-tube videos too. They are just as good/better live.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding debut, October 16, 2010
By 
Anne Pann (Kalamazoo, MI United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gorilla Manor (Audio CD)
I just started seriously listening to rock music again after a long, long break (think 20 years) and I am amazed at the high quality of many "indie" rock bands putting out records today. This album may be my best find yet. I can only echo what everyone else has said about the beautiful music, vocals, lyrics. I don't know how old these guys are, but there is a certain innocent/trandscendent quality to this record (not to be confused with simplicity)that seems to capture the enthusiasm for life that people often have in early adulthood that can be hard to sustain. This is magical stuff, and like much great art, it makes me want to live more fully and intensely. Highly recommended. This deserves a wide audience.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT WORK! GREAT ALBUM! Warm tones, reverb, harmonies and great rhythmic intricacy., March 18, 2010
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This review is from: Gorilla Manor (Audio CD)
Local Natives have made a summer record with a winter soul. The Silver Lake, California group's debut album, Gorilla Manor, swells and sinks in a sort of sun-soaked cacophony that rivals the best sort of symphony while harkening back to the hazy hippy days of Southern California's beach bum past. And it all works together to tremendous effect.

Gorilla Manor, Local Native's first full-length, stumbles upon a sound full of warm tones, reverb, harmonies and rhythmic intricacy. Gorilla Manor is Local Native's most impressive set of tracks to date that deliver from beginning to end.

In a seemingly stale music industry, Gorilla Manor is a unique, breath of fresh air. With that irreproachable foundation the band crafts songs inspiring contemplation that leaves you more confused than dazed. The fleeting memories of sensations and impressions of traveling on second single "Camera Talking", a sincere longing for a girlfriend conveyed through a webcam chat that is described as "the most beautiful squares I'd ever seen" in "Cubism Dream" or the snapshot story of receiving domestic and world news on the way home in a car in the slowly building "World News" are all charming examples that arouse some compassion in the listener. Like receiving postcards from friends or family, Local Natives deliver short stories or perspectives on more vague and abstract sensations and themes (such as the confusing but alluringly hazy lyrics on the instrumentally impressive "Shape Shifter") that we cherish and put up on our refrigerators for a while. There are other compelling indie rock albums that have hung in there, reminding us every day since their release as we pass by them of their grand emotional value.

Gorilla Manor, for all its extremely adequate instrumentation and intelligent-emotional value will not and should not be thrown away and forgotten but instead carefully bundled with other notable efforts and saved in some drawer to be taken out and admired for later.

The familiar hook of Stranger Things starts to draw the album to a close. Clever layered percussion and haunting backing vocals sum up the band's sound perfectly. As the penultimate song of the album, leaves you wanting more. The skills that the band poses in blending electric guitar with strings and piano, together with their vocal harmonies make Gorilla Manor an album not to be missed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just really good., February 25, 2010
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HW "HW" (Atlanta, GA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gorilla Manor (Audio CD)
I like almost every song on this album. It's an excellent debut and similar as others have said to bands like Fleet Foxes. The best songs are Airplanes and Who Knows Who Cares; each song has wonderful harmonies and playful beats. Lyrics like "It sounds like we would of had a great deal to say to each other/I bet when I leave my body for the sky, the wait will be worth it," and "The most beautiful colors chase the sun/They wrap her trail/In a taunting gesture that seems to sing out loud" evoke strong emotions and images without feeling banal.

Listen to a few songs to get a feel, and I'm sure you'll find one if not more that tickle your ear. Check this album out because these guys will get big soon.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I would give it 6 stars..., June 12, 2010
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This review is from: Gorilla Manor (Audio CD)
There are quite a few reviews here that sum up how I feel about this album so all I can really add is that I just love it. I have not been able to stop listening to this album, start to finish, every song, for more than 3 weeks now. i try to listen to other but just come back to this ... it's just one of THOSE. Honestly they remind me in many sensibilities of The Shins but they sounds take the music to a level that I always found myself WISHING the Shins would go to. Driving rhythms are nearly always present at least by suggestion... full of energy... even the quiet ones simply vibrate. These words are ridiculous - just buy it now. It's one my favorite albums in years, period.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, August 1, 2010
This review is from: Gorilla Manor (Audio CD)
Come Decemeber, this album will undoubtedly be on all the critics 'Top Albums of the Year' lists. Been listening to it all summer and still not sick of it. Great album through and through. Highly recommended.
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Gorilla Manor
Gorilla Manor by Local Natives (Audio CD - 2010)
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