Bristol-based four-piece, Natural Tendency, are unfaultable in their ambition, energy and ability as they very much demonstrate through this, their debut EP; tight, dynamic and solid. The title track to their 'Echoes' EP opens with a determined, charging, synth-drenched guitar blend into palm-mute accompanied verses reminiscent of pop punk greats such as Blink182. Following a growled ringing pause, the track then crashes into its' bouncing, energetic chorus and the second verse is further developed with the inclusion of more synths. 'Echoes' then breaks down to a calmer, delayed guitar accompanied bridge before charging back to a repeated chorus which gathers more pace and determination with each repetition. All told, the music is simple but yet more proof that simple is best; Natural Tendency blend synth pop and punk pop together with both a menacing, Placebo-like, anxious edge and a strong, energetic dance pound.
To follow, low foreboding bass synths underpin pitch perfect vocals amidst imitative gestures of higher pitched saw synth melody during the opening bars of 'Sol (We Are One)'. The arrival of dance-like rhythmic synths and throbbing drums then build to where the track really kicks in with high impact, pounding with an energetic and infectious dance charge and a sound that blends early Friendly Fires with whiffs of Bloc Party. 'Running For Your Life', the concluding track of the EP, is guitar led with atmospheric swooshing synths and rippling cymbals offering more of a down tempo contrast to the youthful energetic bounce that precedes it. Until, that is, an anxious, crunching interception fuelled with a real punk menace akin to the Hives swaggers forward, building the track to a strong falsetto chorus and driving forward with Natural Tendency's trademark energy.
Not ones to deny the craving for more, Natural Tendency continue their offering in the form of two tracks sent via email to those who show support by joining the mailing list. 'Pillars Of Creation' opens with strummed guitar accompanied vocals that are then joined by a chugging, driving bass line before the track unsuspectingly kicks into a guitar riff led, synth-drenched energetic chorus which has a clear rock/punk edge to it and whiffs of Muse with its' soaring vocals and swaggering, strutting guitar riffs. With its' vaudeville organ type introduction sound then joined by distorted guitars, 'Forever' proves yet more versatility from the young Bristol quartet. From gentler 6/8 verses, piano accompanied with layers of smooth strings, 'Forever' then kicks into an almighty powerful chorus, worthy of a superhero movie soundtrack. There's a bit of a symphonic-rock, Nightwish, feel to this heartfelt, passionate track which also further emphasises the strength of Ed Taylor's vocals amidst a blend of soaring guitars and synthesised strings before the track closes with a recapitulation of the vaudeville type introduction.
An almighty strong debut offering that undoubtedly whets ones' appetite for more.