If you think the buildup surrounding L.A.’s Local Natives is intense, just wait ‘til you hear the album. On their Frenchkiss Records debut, the quintet gently mixes pretty, Fleet Fox-y harmonies with post-punk riffs, punchy drum work, and just enough big atmospheric buildups to keep listeners on the edge of their seats for the duration. Lead single “Sun Hands” starts off with persistent percussion, groovy bass lines, and airy vocals, then explode into a cacophony of battle-cry choruses and raw, gritty guitar ferocity. As its title suggests, “Wide Eyes” starts Gorilla Manor off with sunny, open-chord rock and hauntingly distant harmonics, then gives way to the piano-propelled toe-tapper “Airplanes” without missing a beat. In the end, it’s as tough to pick a favorite as it is to pick a low point on Gorilla Manor, and, perhaps unfortunately for critics, it just gets better with every listen.


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