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|1. Wide Eyes|
|3. Sun Hands|
|4. World News|
|5. Shape Shifter|
|6. Camrea Talk|
|7. Cards & Quarters|
|8. Warning Sign|
|9. Who Knows Who Cares|
|10. Cubism Dream|
|11. Stranger Things|
|12. Sticky Thread|
Much of the attention to come the band’s way has been generated by favourable reviews of their sets at this year’s South By Southwest conference, held in Austin, Texas back in March. Every year the multi-venue event – think the Camden Crawl on an epic scale (with better, and often bigger, bands) – produces a buzz band or two, and Local Natives impressed enough of the right people to qualify as a genuine One to Watch for 2009. And this album largely delivers on the promise.
The oddly titled Gorilla Manor features 12 tracks that successfully stir thoughts of a host of comparative ensembles – Band of Horses, O’Death, Pinback and, yes, Fleet Foxes – but Local Natives’ arrangements can express a cheery effervescence only sporadic in much of the aforementioned acts’ work. The a cappella breakdown of Sun Hands is an early example of this carefree attitude to composition – it’s completely out of place, yet feels entirely natural at the same time. Camera Talk flexes dub-kissed muscles midway through before breaking out a violin for some Arcade Fire-like strings-and-percussion splendour.
The band’s also perfectly capable of delivering big anthems strong on memorable hooks – the likes of Shape Shifter and album opener Wide Eyes are sure to swim around the listener’s head for days. And while this accessibility is largely down to the breakthrough exploits of forerunners, Local Natives’ evident ambition and accomplished execution of even the grandest ideas sets them in good stead to not only follow several leads, but stand out on their own before long.
Gorilla Manor is no classic – it’s too indebted to its makers’ influences for that. But it is a strong, striking debut that exceeds expectations and should open enough doors for the band to ensure that album two is immediately placed at the top of journalist must-listen-to piles and consumers’ to-buy lists alike. --Mike Diver
Find more music at the BBC This link will take you off Amazon in a new window--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Absolutely brilliant first album. Its a real grower that i still count as one of my favourites of all time.Published 20 months ago by easyas123
Came across these guys for the first time live at Greenman Festival 2013. Gutted it's taken me a few years to get on to listening to this. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Rj Williams
Heard these guys first on Radio 6 Music, loved their sound straight away, quirky vocals, great harmonies.
Buy immediately. Get 'Hummingbird' too.
I bought Hummingbird first and so was slightly disappointed with this album since Hummingbird is such a fantastic album....but I'm getting used to this album. Read morePublished 22 months ago by M.Jane Bradley
I discovered the band by way of their second record Hummingbird, and I really love this record. 2009's Gorilla Manor took a second listen before I got it, as I was expecting... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Neil Gibbs
Musically it was flawless, but there was a little paint on the rim of the record. Either it's been repackaged or there was an issue when it was pressed.Published 23 months ago by Thomas Reynolds
I heard the music when I went to scool - I was working with clay that day and the music sound very nice.
But now when I listen to the cd, I remembered it different. Read more
Such a great 'play it over and over and over again' album! Need extra copies for the office, the car and your friends!! Buy at least two!Published on 10 May 2013 by A. Ballantyne