Natural Disasters – Self-Titled

  • Bobby Gorman posted
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Natural Disasters

Self Titled - Self Released

The front of Natural Disasters’ self-titled EP offers a deceiving introduction.  The glossy finish, bold abstract patterns, and bright colour pallet bring to mind a lot of commercial hardcore groups – Eyes Set To Kill being the one that popped into my head at first sight.  But if like me you were expecting crushing breakdowns and growling roars you’ll be shocked to learn that Natural Disasters is actually a very lose melodic punk rock group with an ear for off the rails speed and unhinged force.

Part skatepunk, part technical rock, and a dash of sloppy hardcore for attitude, Natural Disasters is music to the ears of any fans of modern throwbacks to good old fashioned punk rock.  The end result is fairly common, but describing the exact combination draws upon a lot of interesting and lesser-referenced players with memorable effect.  From my vantage point, the band employs guitar likened to that of The Insurgence, shouts with a bitter sweet passion akin to The Bitter End under a melodic structure like that of DC Fallout (I could also use a Pennywise reference here), amidst a backdrop of shouty street-core gang vocals circa Young Livers.  It really is a classic sound, and one I wholly endorse.

In terms of remarkable tracks, the album is fairly steady – the band rationing their tricks across the entire EP, rather than bloating and repeating each track.  Opener “We’ve Done it To Ourselves” offers a solid template for those ahead, placing focus on Natural Disasters’ wild guitars, continually leaping forth like domesticated animals inspired to action by vestigial instincts.  The fantastically named “Castle Greyskull” follows next, introducing those anthemic gang vocals, bolstering vocalist Geoff Shafto’s fleeting sense of social despair.  A couple more tracks in on “By The Beard Of Zeus” (Great Odin’s raven these guys know how to title tracks), Shafto takes a nod from Rise Against’s sole attempt at infusing the spoken word (“Approaching The Curve”), using a moment of prose with targeted purpose as he speaks of the power of language by stating that “the human voice is different from other sounds, it can be heard over noises that bury everything else… even the lowest whisper can be heard over armies.”  It’s tough using the style without avoiding the accompanying “cheese,” but the boys demonstrate a very firm control.

Natural Disasters’ self-titled effort isn’t groundbreaking, but it’s reassuringly solid.  This is an album for those who know what they love, and just can’t seem to get enough of it.  And I’ve said it in previous reviews, but I’ll say it again, bands like Natural Disasters might never reach the notoriety of the classics, but it’s good to know that there are still those out there keeping the sound alive and well.  It’s a short first offering to be sure (a mere six songs) – but definitely one worth getting acquainted with.