The Natives Are Restless

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Like clockwork, Hawaii's lineup expanded with each album to match the last digit of the year of release, but, unfortunately, this little bit of useless trivia constitutes about the only sort of positive evolution during the band's short-lived career. Released in 1985 (and recorded by, you guessed it -- a newly installed five-piece formation) their last effort Natives are Restless was, if anything, a step backwards from their four-song EP from a year earlier, and it clearly showed the band starting to try and mimic popular trends, rather than set them. To wit, first track "Call of the Wild" takes a page from Accept's legendary "Fast as a Shark" by rudely interrupting a cheesy snippet of Hawaiian balladry with the sound of needle-scratching-record, then launching into full-fledged thrashing mania. Not to be outdone, ensuing singles' candidates "Turn It Louder" and "Unfinished Business" peddle the kind of faceless, radio-ready pop metal that Mötley Crüe, Ratt or Twisted Sister easily pulled off with half the clichés and twice the danger. "V.P.H.B" is at least creative with its real title: "Vicious Power Hungry Bitch," but the fact it had to be abbreviated also speaks volumes about Hawaii's pathetic fear of offending someone; and what material's left to be heard after that is similarly ho-hum and undercooked, leaving no questions as to why Hawaii cashed in their chips right after this album.

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