Recording information: Earth Analogue, Tolono, IL; Studio Greg, Chicago, IL.
Photographer: David Summers.
With a sound that blends knotty guitar work with a propulsive rhythm section, Native's Orthodox is an album that can best be described as unsettled. Channeling the jangly and explosive sound of bands like At the Drive-In, there's a sense of tension and restlessness at work here, giving the feeling that Native are a band with a lot of energy to burn off who aren't accustomed to staying in one place very long. "Word City" starts the album out simply with some strummed chords, feeling almost like a gymnast going through some breathing exercises before beginning a complicated and difficult routine, as the song quickly opens up into a twisting web of noodly post-hardcore that seems to be constantly shifting and contorting itself into new shapes. Given the artistic statement found in the album's liner notes, which bemoan a lack of reasonable discourse in the media and a propensity for allowing history to be written by the victors, it becomes clear that the feelings of angst and unrest are no accident. Orthodox is an album whose mission is to shake you up enough to question the systems in place all around, and given the tension Native are able to conjure with these songs, it's safe to say the band is successful. Putting social agenda's aside, though, listeners are still left with a well-crafted album of incredibly tight songs from a band whose musicianship is often dazzling, and the fact that they're able to do all of that and still manage to imbue the album with some substance makes Native a band that's well worth paying attention to. ~ Gregory Heaney
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