Tuesday, 31 October 2017
The Nature Strip - Beetle Bones
I covered The Nature Strip's Presents album in March here and so I'm delighted to tell you that the band's third full length album is with us. The Sydney based outfit have built on their excellent past, but reached out further with this splendid affair.
The songwriting has previously been handled by John Encarnacao, this time round it's split 50 / 50 with Pete Marley. So all the New Wave influences are still there, but they've been broadened to include departures into Funk, Blues Rock and even Synth Pop.
Fear not though, these departures are all still held together by Encarnacao's vocals. Even something heavier like Hildegard unt Winifred could still be The Sugarplastic if it were not for the Guitar riffs and solo.
There's also great detail in the album, experimentation and depth. The Brass on Eye Section is another interesting departure, an almost Andy Partridge type intrusion. The XTC comparisons continue and so it will be no surprise that John Encarnacao and Drummer Jess Ciampa are part of probably the best XTC Tribute band, Scarecrow People.
Great Big Wave is a corking slice of Psych Pop, Save The Hive could easily be an outtake from XTC's Mummer and the Stripped Down I Wanna Do The Right Thing is great New Wave. Miss You More could be on a mid 70's Jigsaw album. The centrepiece is probably Waterfall, far more laid back, very Jefferson Airplane, with a sublime organ solo.
There's more than enough here to keep previous followers happy, but there is also a departure to drag more in. These departures enhance what you hear rather than deflect. Beetle Bones is professionally recorded and arranged in a way that continues the band's journey forward without deflecting from what they are good at.
This is a great album and deserves your attention. You can listen to and buy the album here.