Native Wildlife - Blackwood EP
Record Label: Self-Released
Release Date: October 25, 2012
Native Wildlife is a post-hardcore five piece from Boston, Massachusetts. Blackwood is their sophomore release and the follow up EP to earlier this year’s American Mischief EP. American Mischief was a record filled with potential, so have Native Wildlife capitalized upon that potential?
Yes, indeed they have. In a handful of words: Blackwood is as heavy as hell, in the very best way possible. Over the course of the two tracks on this release, Native Wildlife avoid all of the pitfalls that commonly plague bands of their ilk. Not one generic breakdown or synthesizer is to be heard on the EP, as the band smash their way through an all encompassing wall of sound. First track, “Devil’s Daughter” starts off with a somewhat deceiving twinkling guitar before diving straight into Osbourne’s distinctly glorious rough vocals. His shouts are a big part of giving Native Wildlife that extra dimension of heaviness with their toughness being prominent but in a way that one could still sing along, if they were so inclined. After bashing you around the head with a wall of sound for a couple of minutes, the track slows down into an American Football-esque break. This juxtaposition of hard and soft is skillfully carried off and the band succeed where so many of their peers fall down.
Second track “Bitter Work” turns the volume back up and features a quite superbly executed guitar solo. At six minutes long, it’s longer than it’s predecessor and has a deliciously tired and wary feel to it. Not once does it get boring and despite the track changing direction multiple times, it’s still incredibly cohesive. It’s the sort of song many bands would kill to have in their repertoire, with it’s post-rock tints making the instrumentation feel somewhat epic. It’s an excellent closer and hopefully, a great indicator of things to come from Native Wildlife.
In a period of time where certain high profile post-hardcore/metalcore/whatever-core bands are having big releases (*cough* Woe, Is Me *cough*) that are quite terrible but will still certainly shift those units, it’s somewhat disheartening to see that a Google search of Native Wildlife comes up with only a handful of results, when these guys should already be big names in the scene. If you like your everything-core to have intelligence and actual ambition, Native Wildlife are the band for you. If the world has any sense whatsoever, you’ll be hearing their name again very soon.