Music
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Our Brother the Native

Tooth and Claw

(Fat Cat; US: 25 Jul 2006; UK: 19 Jul 2006)

Three teenagers have put this together, and it sounds exactly like a teen outfit. Spacey, odd, quirky, bizarre, and resembling a cross between the Flaming Lips and Devendra Banhart, “Introduction—Welcome to the Aviary” gets things going, albeit in a truly inane manner! Using nature sounds, loops, and folksy/hippy hues, the group manages to churn out a decent, somber track entitled “Apodiformes”. Decent, but that’s compared to the sludge of the opener. When they simplify songs down just a hair, the results are quite impressive, especially during the somewhat bluesy “Falconiformes” which brings to mind CoCo Rosie and their mix of film and sound. However, after three or four songs of this, you get a bit, well, bored with it frankly. It begins to turn into background music instead of something more memorable or evocative. A warble-saturated children’s choir is used over a backbeat for “Strigiformes”, while the drone-heavy “Welcome to the Arborary” sounds like the Arcade Fire after the seventeenth tranquilizer has kicked in. Sadly, by the sixth song, “Catalpa”, the record has become so tedious that you start looking at the track listing to see how much longer this goes on. Even the attempt at a “song” during “Tilia Petiolaris” could be a subtle highlight, mainly because they don’t try to be ridiculously artsy. Otherwise, it’s more of the same crap, er, claptrap with titles like “Nautical Spirits, Welcome to the Aquarium”. Maybe it sounds better in an aquarium.

Rating:

Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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