NATURE BOYS: Self-titled: CS

Kansas City, Mo.’s Nature Boys are a study in contradictions. The recording quality and production on their untitled cassette release are lo-lo-lo-fi, but their sonic vision feels full and immersive. Their loose, emotional playing style possesses an immediacy that makes it feel like every decision is being made in the moment, but their song structures are deceptively precise and absolutely airtight. They exude all the messy viciousness of great punk, while maintaining a laid-back groove reminiscent of classic garage rock. This contrast extends beyond the music: tucked behind the simple, clean black and white album art and cheerful yellow tape is a small folded page, photocopied at least once and covered in tiny hand-scribbled lyrics, the different songs haphazardly arranged and bleeding into one another. It’s difficult to know what any of these words mean to the band’s members, but the images presented are stark and evocative, almost expressionistic. And maybe this contradictory condition is contagious, because this review sounds really pedantic, but Nature Boys will wreck your fucking face, no strings attached. –Kelley O’Death (Self-released, [email protected], natureboysrocknroll.com)