Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Natural Shocks

When looking at the cover for Kobayashi Maru, the newly released EP from Toronto rockers The Natural Shocks, what's the first thing you notice?  It's dark and foreboding, displaying nothing but a silhouette, giving weight to the tension of the unknown.  We can't even see the character's face. This sense of being hidden is an interesting one, especially considering that The Natural Shocks were based on a collection of songs inspired by Jim DeLuca's (lead singer) broad fear of death and the finality of it.  That was then, but Kobayashi Maru is now. So what has changed if anything?  If you listen carefully, there are some aspects that are consistent, like in "Chosen Ones" where DeLuca sings "makes you wish you'd live forever / won't regret it / come whatever / and now my days are drifting way", but overall the tone seems to be much more uplifting.  Underneath their heavily reverbed guitar lines lies great pop sensibility and does so in a way that slowly reveals itself.  For some reason, perhaps because the vocals sound slightly lo-fi, I can't shake the '90s alternative rock style.  Either way, in the end it doesn't matter if DeLuca still fears death or remains undercover in the album cover, Kobayashi Maru is a wonderful EP, carefully constructed and proficient in a variety of different sounds.  Best part is that you can snag it for free!  You can do that over at Bandcamp, with other outlets available at FacebookTwitter, and SoundCloud.  I've posted my two favorites, "Daydream" and "Chosen Ones" below for your listening pleasure.  Enjoy!

 Daydream by The Natural Shocks

 Chosen Ones by The Natural Shocks

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