That’s the way to describe this week’s offerings from our vaults, O good peoples of humankind.
As we wend our way woozily to the end of the trail, tapewise, for the John Watts era, let us remind ourselves with humility – in 1996, Native was one of the best bands in the world. There, we said it, because somebody had to.
Our lead vocal humanoid – Mat Hutt, herein delivers a three-song summation of everything that made him a great fronthuman. Equally comfortable with raunchy rock & funk, or a sweet ballad – Mat rocks it!
Our harmonies, sometimes four-part, were never richer. Woody, John, and Mike had developed a wonderful blend, with Woody getting special mention for his rack & pinion parallel matching of Mat’s lead vocal.
Our guitarist, Michael Jaimes, was always splendiferous in the breadth and scope of his solos, but here he displays a stunning array of improvisational skips and runs – and, O that rotovibe pedal gets a workout here! There’s no such thing as too much rotovibe pedal!
Our keyboardist, John Watts, was absolutely at the top of his game in the waning months of ’96, and here he goes head to head with Mike in the great soloing department.
Our rhythm section was never tighter. Matt Lyons, John ‘Woody the Toastman’ Wood, and Dave Thomas had developed into a multi-armed behemoth, with special mention going to Matt for his blockbusting bass workout found herein.
Our sound was never more balanced. John Fitzwater, at this point, was helming the board with Captain Phillips-like steely determinedness.
Our Manager, Paul Ducharme, was never more stoned & loquatious!
These tunes hail from the wee hours of the morning, and it’s hard to imagine anything better happening at that moment, anywhere in the world.
Hey, somebody has to say it!