A Buffalo, NY band, called The Naturalists, enter the grunge scene with their guitars blazing and fiery vocals. The band is made up of guitar and vocalist Craig Perno, bass player Zach Russell, and drummer Travis Perno. Each of them has a different musical background, but the same passion for music. The Naturalists effortlessly blend their instruments to form a rock-grunge sound that gives an ode to the legends of the genre, but a distinct enough one to give them their own style. Some of the band's influences are Manchester Orchestra, Queens of the Stone Age, and State Radio.
Their latest EP Volume Unit addresses feelings of longing, regret and fear with intense vocals, humble lyrics and artful guitar playing. The four tracks on the album all fit within a similar story frame. They dig into the deepest, dark corners of the soul to relinquish some demons. "Long Walk" and "Lucy's Dream" uses a bit more energetic, upbeat instrumental work. But both songs discuss the misery of something broken, whether it's a relationship or spirit. "Hypoxia" offers the most intrigue because of the haunting, mysterious lyrics. The song channels the danger and darkness of an urban legend type story. The "Feel of Falling" with its long instrumental breaks and transitions does the best job at highlighting the guitar skills of The Naturalists.
All the tracks on Volume Unit follow a similar musical pattern. The guitar and drums play in the background with a sort of organized chaotic clumsiness but once the guitar solos kick-in, it's a slick, hypnotic sound. "Hypoxia" and "Lucy's Dream" especially have a hazy, gritty and badassery instrumental sound. Throughout the four tracks The Naturalists play with the intensity of their last performance, but with the joy of their first. It's whimsical meets passion.
The Naturalists' Volume Unit album starts off with a punch of adrenaline and just builds from there. It's an EP comprised of a very clear narrative with surprises along the way but never loses its focus or angle. It's a fun, zealous and thought-provoking album that just scratches the surface of the band's capabilities.
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