There’s that thing with modern art. People always say A SIX YEAR OLD COULD DO THAT! Modern art eh! Oh the times have advanced so far; now one can toss a shark in formaldehyde, give it a swish name and be off with millions. Oh the times they are a-changing.
So along come three fastidious gun-slingers from out west. Young, talented, they’re reasonably new in town and on the superb label that is Fat Cat. Usually a good sign. But then there’s this modern art thing hanging over it all. I’ll explain later.
Our Brother are Native are Broken Social Scene, Animal Collective and Shocking Pinks. They are those kids hiding in the giant panda or bear costumes you see in all those really cheap low-fi videos banging away at things and mimicking these aforementioned far superior outfits. Everything sounds bashed and muffled and purposely cheap when in fact it probably cost loads and loads and unless there is an underlining current, a little HINT of melody (like My Bloody Valentine), then it’s all just a bit shit.
That’s basically Our Brother the Native summed up. OKAY, they’re not SHIT but this album is too loose to make sense or keep the listeners attention or to really matter afterward. There are really only three good tracks – ‘All Grown’, ‘Sores, Endless Winter – and the rest are forgettable. The majority of the songs are all tinkering ghostly keys trouncing about with repetitive sawing violins and like terrible actors; the songs ramble on stage, clumsy, forgetting their words and looking a mess. Where ARE the words? What actually is being said in ANY of the songs? Just frustrating. It’s a frustrating album to love, or like really. A six year old could do this!!! See? That’s where the modern art connection comes in. A messy painting. The brush casually lumped across a long room left to slap and spatter; the artist left to accept what grand statement he has limply crafted.
This is not a complete disaster but it is certainly hard to find something positive to say, to recommend to a friend or put on a playlist on an Ipod. The quality isn’t there. There are nice little bits and pieces but nothing nicely polished and original. It all sounds ridiculously like BSS, etc, etc, etc. What a bore that record contracts extend to yet more frivolous ‘talent.’ They are young and will probably do much better but for now, this is one to glance at, don’t look twice and keep right on going.