They might be young, but these Indiana punks have forged something memorable and unique with their debut full-length, Wrestling Moves. Clearly growing up under the influence of classic post-punk bands like Fugazi and Shellac, Native have succeeded in forging something original from the discordant madness of those bands and the catchy, intricate guitar interplay of '90s Midwest staples like Braid and American Football. The result is a record full of songs that play to, rather than indulge, their members' technical strengths, swinging between the subtle and the cacophonous. Songs like "Five Year Payoff" and "Ponyboy" capture the band at their best, demonstrating a perfect understanding of the dynamics of a great post-hardcore song, highlighting the clarity of the album's production. Wrestling Moves is, without a doubt, a sharp-sounding document that lets each member's contributions shine through the minimal mix. For anyone looking for their fix of Small Brown Bike-style ragers, Native have succeeded in banging out ten fine examples, emulating the best of their influences while retaining a delivery and songwriting style that belong to them alone.
You've been on the road a lot over the last year. Would you say touring has changed what Native mean to you, as a band?
Vocalist and bassist Bobby Markos: Touring a lot has made Native more of an outlet for seeing the world than it ever was before. When we started this band, we never thought we'd leave the Midwest. We intended on sharing our music with our immediate surroundings. This past year has really expanded our limits and expectations, and we've really raised the bar of where we want to, and can, go.
How do you view your influences and their presence in Native's sound?
We all listen to music non-stop, and it definitely influences our everyday activities. When we were writing Wrestling Moves, I feel like we listened to more music than ever before, but we began studying what we listened to, just to see what made great albums. We looked at transitions, timings and tore each part apart just to see what made it what it is. The music we listen to is a huge part of who we are. Since it's such a huge part, it has a big presence in our sound. The music we listen to enables us to think the way we do when we write, and that's an important role. (Sergent House)