In the ever-saturating music industry alternative-rock bands come and go like taxis from the rank, many without any particular spark or ear-catching quality. Every now and again one comes along and takes you by surprise. That is most certainly the case with London four-piece Dead Natives. Led by the confident, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club-esque drawl of Liam Dutch, the quartet’s debut EP Smoking Gun leaves a lasting effect.
Kicking things off is the rather sombre title-track, essentially a steady, moody number relying on filthy guitars and bass right up to its dark western acid-rock core. ‘Feel Alright‘ doesn’t hang around, it’s everything the opener isn’t – pacey, riff-tastic, attitude-filled power, all-over. Instant nods again to BRMC alongside a similar essence of The Brian Jonestown Massacre in rhythm and aesthetics, it’s a real party starter, set opener. Full on banger.
Finale, ‘In Spite Of The Rain‘ takes the acclaim though. Simply fantastic songwriting from a band still in their infancy. Each and every vibrantly atmospheric guitar flicker sticks with you, growing in intensity as Dutch intones: “I believe, I can see that heart on your sleeve, it’s something else entirely.” Effortlessly memorable lyricism.
Some say bands only get one go at setting the foundations and, if that is the case, Dead Natives although keeping their feet firmly on the ground, have done a bloody good job – there’s a increasingly rare dark essence to their music that does what it says on the tin, no spills, plenty of thrills.