Listening to the iPod on shuffle in the car always packs a few unexpected surprises, and yesterday proved no exception, as The Natural History popped up and I had to turn the randomizer off to let the album play out. Great stuff. I had forgotten how much I dug this band’s 2003 LP, Beat Beat Heartbeat, as well as its debut EP both on StarTime International. This NYC trio played a sparse, angular strain of garage-inflected post-punk, but it was vocalist Max Tepper who lifted the band above the denizens of post-Strokes wannabes. His husky voice channeled early Elvis Costello and his off-kilter phrasing played the perfect foil to his brother Julian’s smart, melodic basslines. All of its songs seemed to end right when they were hitting their stride, leaving you in an insatiable state. I had heard rumors a few years ago that the band had broken up acrimoniously, leaving a second, unreleased full-length behind. I did a little research today and discovered that in 2007 the band reformed with a different drummer and an additional guitarist, releasing People That I Meet without label support after a dust-up with StarTime caused a two-year delay. One song off that album, “Don’t You Ever”, was later covered by Spoon for Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga but retitled “Don’t You Evah.” So, good news that there’s another record by The Natural History out there but bad news that the band didn’t last. Bottom line: got to get my hands on that second album.
The Natural History “Watch This House” video
Posted March 3rd, 2009 by Eric Greenwood · 2 Comments