Native Nod

Today Puberty, Tomorrow the World

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Before the Lapse and even before the Van Pelt, indie rock fixture Chris Leo got his start in the wholly original (if not a bit abrasive) Native Nod. This disc collects the band's two 7" releases, Bread and Lower G.I. Bleed, as well as a comp track and two leftovers; nine songs in total as well as the band's entire recorded legacy. The songs are loose and filled with youthful energy, but like fellow indie groundbreakers Cap'n Jazz, they also have the power to explode into insane bursts of inspired hard rock. Leo's voice, an often spoken, sometimes screamed, and always uncertain wail, is the main contributor to the group's unique sound. Much like the harder-edged material of his later groups, these songs ride on the rage in Leo's voice, and swell even further thanks to the inventively full sounding musicianship. Some of the songs are fairly simple in construct, but others take the time to set a mood and are remarkably effective. Lyrically, the tracks can seem intentionally daft or at least vague, but they're still well-worded, and enough to make listeners try a little harder to understand. This may not be the best work to come from any of the members of this band, but it is an amazing early project that clearly sets the tone for the music that it later spawned.

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