OUR BROTHER THE NATIVE: Parting Marrows (Fat-Cat Records)


Posted on Oct 23rd 2008 12:51 am

Filed in Singles/EPs | Tags: ,
Comments (0)

Our Brother The Native: Parting Marrow

Parting Marrows
Fat-Cat Records 2008
05 Tracks. 21mins28secs
Format: Digital

Close in essence to CocoRosie and Animal Collective, the first output from Our Brother The Native, Tooth & Claw, released over two years ago, already showed strong signs of creative flair, especially for a band formed by three teenagers scattered around the US, who only met in the flesh for their first live set, shortly after the album was released. They returned earlier this year with the much darker and challenging Make Amends For We Are Merely Vessels, which swapped the glittering broken folk of their previous effort for slices of tortured spaced-out post rock.

With Parting Marrows, Joshua Bertram, John-Michael Foss and Chaz Knapp return to more purely pastoral tones, but this digital-only EP marks yet another departure, this time toward slightly bohemian moods. The songs presented here are much shorter and more compact than those of Make Amends, and the dense clouds of saturated guitars and primal screams have been replaced with more peaceful acoustic brushes, where guitars and piano form the main instrumental fabric of the songs. The random samples and instruments that the trio layer over these contribute greatly to the poetic aspect of the music, and this is further enhanced by the child-like vocals which have become the band’s trademark.

While they often appear sketchy and rough, vocals are actually an important part of the music made by OBTN. Like early Animal Collective, there is an intrinsic trance-like incantatory aspect to these which gives the songs an unusual and at times totally disconcerting relief. This is particularly acute toward the end of Warm Refines, where the trio incorporate what sounds like traditional Eastern European or African tribal singing to the piece as there own vocals almost disappear in the background. Opening pieces Augural Wraith and Seminal Paws are perhaps more conventional, at least as far as ‘alternative’ music is concerned. The former is a gentle campfire song which lingers for a while before briefly building momentum toward the end, while the latter, although more deconstructed, is more elaborated and complex. The most straightforward piece on this EP is undoubtedly the heart-warming Failed Panegyric, with its wonderful sweeping chorus, but even here, OBTN continue to inject snippets of environmental sounds and smearing them all over the instrumental backdrop. The closing title track is a much more reflective affair, which continuously echoes with film dialogues in the foreground while the band drop gentle lullaby-like soft tones in the background.

Our Brother The Native continue to develop and mature in a totally unique and exciting way, and this digital only EP is a further proof that their horizon is continuously widening. This EP is in turn melancholic, emotional and uplifting, but it is, above all, completely original and fresh. Unmissable!


Our Brother The Native | Fat-Cat Record
Buy: iTunes

Filed in Singles/EPs | Tags: ,
Comments (0)

Comments are closed.