NATTERERS: Head in Threatening Attitude: LP/CD

I am a big fan of this band and own more Natterers shirts than I care to admit. From the first time I heard the band’s primarily California-influenced punk rock tunes a few years ago, I have closely monitored its growth across a number of singles. This is a group that has continually built on its strengths to this point, where Head in Threatening Attitude is a quality representation of the collective abilities of all involved. That means surf-tinged punk rock in which hints of Dead Kennedys, T.S.O.L., and Agent Orange can be heard, yet never too much that one could accuse Natterers of being derivative. Emma angrily screams and shouts her way through fourteen tracks, however, when she almost casually proclaims that “dead men don’t catcall,” on the song of that title, there is a truly sinister feel to her words. Alongside this, Tom’s guitar adds an East Bay Ray quality that chops and changes pace with ease, the best example being on “Not Long Left Now,” my favorite track on the album. The vocals and guitar have always been the strongest elements of the band for me, but they are now well matched by a new rhythm section consisting of Rob, a bassist renowned for doing time in H.D.Q., and Dave, a drummer who also beats the skins for Voorhees and The Young Conservatives. These additions have really had a big impact with the band sounding much more complete than before, resulting in a bit more musical power. My initial encounter with Natterers also reminded me of Night Birds quite a bit and the album is brought to a conclusion with a surf-punk instrumental, which is very much in line with the New Jersey outfit. A new shirt? Go on then, just make it a Natterers one. –Rich Cocksedge (Boss Tuneage, [email protected], bosstuneage.bigcartel.com)