It can sometimes be hard to keep track of bands when they keep coming out of the woodwork (trust us, we get it), but when a group like Indiana’s NATIVE decides to play a basement venue like Parts & Labour, you go. Even if it means throwing away your Friday night or letting your date sit in that new resto spot by themselves. After cruising highways with O’Brother just two months ago, the foursome returned to Toronto (November 8th) and let their hue of post-hardcore/math rock punish every corner of The Shop, illuminating their Orthodox LP as what it is: a jaw-clipping packet of beautiful noise. Check out our snaps below and grab their 2013 effort on translucent green vinyl.
Native is an Indiana band best categorized as hard; both in their difficulty to categorize and in their sound itself. Look no further than their last.fm tags to see the difficulty involved in assigning the band one genre or another: the tags vary from Post-Hardcore to Jazz to Screamo. They walk a line musically between furiousness and heart-ache that few other bands tread as masterfully. About three years ago the band released their first LP Wrestling Moves, and it is easily one of my favourites of the past five years. After a long silence between releases (but while still touring heavily), the band released Orthodox in late August. I talked to Native guitarist Ed O’Neill about their new release and their current tour with its impending stop in Montreal on November 9th.
First off, for people who may not know you guys; how did you guys get together and how would you describe your sound?
We have all been friends since we were pretty young, in our mid teens. The four of us all grew up in small towns scattered around Lake Michigan in Northwest Indiana, and met through the local music scene and mutual friends. We’ve been a band for almost seven years with the same lineup, but our history and how close we all are is what keeps us moving forward. Our sound has changed so much over the years, so it’s a bit hard to describe. For the sake of keeping it simple though, I would describe us as “frustrated, with a touch of melancholy.” (haha)
NATIVE - LIVE November 2013
Nov 06th, 2013 - Marquette, MI @ Northern Michigan University
Nov 07th, 2013 - Lansing, MI @ Mac’s Bar
Nov 08th, 2013 - Toronto, ON, Canada @ Parts & Labour
Nov 09th, 2013 - Montreal, QC, Canada @ Turbo Haus
Nov 10th, 2013 - Quebec, QC, Canada @ Le Knock Out
Nov 11th, 2013 - Boston, MA @ Great Scott*
Nov 12th, 2013 - Providence, RI @ McNeil’s Tavern*
Nov 13th, 2013 - New York, NY @ Saint Vitus*
Nov 14th, 2013 - Philadelphia, PA @ The Barbary*
Nov 15th, 2013 - Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery*
Nov 16th, 2013 - Columbus, OH @ Rumba Cafe
Last Monday, the Northwest Indiana hardcore powerhouse Native put their new album, Orthodox, online for the world to stream on Brooklyn Vegan, and the album officially comes out today through Sargent House. Currently, Native have begun their extensive US tour with O’Brother and Daylight in Birmingham, AL, and they plan to hit many more cities along the way.
Orthodox is the band’s follow-up release to 2010’s Wrestling Moves. After so much time between releases, the band has really created something special with their new album. Everything about Orthodox is beautifully crafted into an eight-track long album that honestly left me speechless.
Here is the track listing for Orthodox:
1. Word City
2. Monday Night
5. Coin Toss
6. Books on Tape
7. Kissing Bridge
8. Sixty Seven
Bobby Markos, the bassist and vocalist of Native, was able to answer a few questions regarding the new album and the band in general.
TJ (In the AM): What were the easiest and hardest parts of writing Orthodox?
Bobby Markos (Native): The easiest part of writing Orthodox was not having to model it after anything in particular. The music was a natural progression for us. The hardest part was severing off and making sure we were creating something pure and original. It was also difficult taking so much time off from being a full time band to write a cohesive album.
I was surprised when I pulled out an album from Sargent House , a label on the forefront of the contemporary prog-rock insurgence. Orthodox by Native is an 8-track album from matured and intelligent angst-rockers who have graduated from hollow and empty cathartic vessels. The new album showcases a frustration and a well-crafted statement against the cause of it. Drummer Nick Glassen syncopates complex time signatures as intricate guitar riffs and heavy bass lines give us moments of pure post-hardcore that hinge heavily with math-rock influences. In the liner notes the band states, “This album is our way of raising our collective eyebrow and our attempt at raising questions that need answers.” This is music with a purpose. It’s neither a confession nor a flashy expose of musicianship.
Native recorded a Live session and interview at Studio 10 for WBEZ’s Vocalo 90.7 FM (CHI) / 89.5 FM (NWI). Playing songs from their latest album “Orthodox" You can hear the full live stream below:
"From the first note, Indiana’s Native evokes ominous, somber tones. They start with raspy, aggressive vocals, drenched in distortion and feedback. Then, suddenly, the noise dissipates into mellow melodic strumming, and then picks up again with an equal ferocity, often all within one song." - Vocalo.org
Don’t miss NATIVE on tour in November - See ALL DATES HERE
It’s been a while since I’ve been this interested in a post-hardcore record. Native seem to have that effect on me. As a band, they’re too often overlooked, brushed aside by most as another one of the many cardboard cutout bands watering down a once innovative music scene. Indiana post-hardcore powerhouses Native play a distinctly groovy and angular take on the genre, using precision and fury on Orthodox to craft one of the most intense and interesting records of the year.
2010’s Wrestling Moves, technical yet catchy, was the sound of a band on the verge of discovering their potential. The songs were intricately composed, noisy and dissonant, but never without an undercurrent of pulsating percussion. For how layered their sound is, the magic of this band is their rhythm section. Perpetually deep in a groove yet never oppressive, drummer Nick Glassen is exceptional, delivering diverse and fluid syncopated patterns that manage to merge the battle between funk and force that’s constantly in play in Native’s sound. The buzz that Wresting Moves brought them, and the lofty expectations that come with such success, caused Native to almost break up, regardless of the fact that the majority of Orthodox was already written.
The Indiana based post hardcore band Native has become one of my favorites in recent years, not only for their amazing musicianship, but also for what they stand for as a band. I was recently able to talk over the phone with bassist-vocalist Bobby Markos about Native’s recently released second full length Orthodox and the musical and mental transformation that the band went through in making this album. I also got some info on what plans Native has for their next album, which I’m already looking forward to. We also touch on Markos’ other spectacular group Cloakroom, a band in which he also plays bass in.
By: Quinten O’Neal
What feels like just a few weeks ago, I was eagerly sinking my teeth into the hugely anticipated sophomore album from Derby’s Crash Of Rhinos, Knots…Now with the arrival of Orthodox - the follow up to 2010′s Wrestling Moves - Indiana’s own post-hardcore math rockers Native have stepped up to the plate in a bid to win valuable digital real-estate on my iPod’s seemingly ever-shrinking hard drive. Picking up almost exactly from where they left off, ‘Word City’ opens Orthodox without taking much time to crash into the band’s trademark sound of punchy drums and throaty bass. Guitars compliment the rhythm section with a deliberate precision that favours sharpness over complexity, picking out melodies as vocalist Bobby Markos textures proceedings with his distinctive raw delivery. Throughout the album the vocals remain very much out of focus, with the driving percussion acting as an assertive core around which the rest of the instrumentation falls. Think Brontide without the looping and you’re not too far off.
Review Summary: A glimpse into the future
If you ever want to visit ground zero for forward thinking, militantly DIY punk music it’s not in California’s crust havens like Aladdin Jr’s, in Austin’s go-to SXSW hardcore hangout 1808, in Chicago’s sweltering basements, nor in converging festivals such as Virginia’s I Got Brains or Michigan’s Bled Fest. The heart and soul of American DIY lies across the highway from the austere brick and steam stacks of the Budweiser plant in Saint Louis, MO at the LEMP Arts Center. Near extremist in their dedication and preservation of the DIY ethos, LEMP has been an unknown but hardly forgotten pillar of the tour routings of both tour greenhorns and the underground professional alike. Scrawled across its walls are the fading stickers of an entire generation of skram upstarts and post-hardcore revivalists, but if you ever get into a conversation with the owner there is one name that is mentioned more frequently in praise than the others. That name is Native. In their early post-high school career Native not only rekindled the teetering histrionics and razor sharp precision of musical gods Fugazi, they pushed that brand of hardcore influenced noise rock in new, more challenging directions with a shot of carefully aimed technicality.
In just a handful of years, Northwest, Indiana’s Native have quietly built themselves a large word-of-mouth following in the underground as an incendiary live act. The iconoclast group’s impeccable musicianship, ominous chords, apocalyptic vocals and innovative rhythms hit with an intensity that can only be described as akin to a white-knuckle thrill ride.
There’s as much suffocating darkness as there is thoughtful focus to Native’s intricate song structures and pensive lyrics. There’s a dark foreboding in the guitar lines simultaneously pushing and pulling, the whole band embracing and tearing apart musical convention with the unpredictability of a protest gone awry.
Their most recent effort, Orthodox (which dropped August 20 via Sargent House) was recorded by Greg Norman in Tolono, IL and in Chicago throughout 2012 and 2013. The album’s taut eight songs were eventually chosen out of nearly 20 tracks written over a grueling couple of years of writing and reworking ideas in near seclusion. Native’s critically-acclaimed 2010 debut full length Wrestling Moves was also issued by Sargent House. The band’s self-released EP We Delete: Erase in 2008 got the attention of Sargent House, who then signed the band to management and label.