Natural Child – For The Love of The Game

Natural Child - For The Love Of The GameNatural Child is a trio from Nashville TN. When you hear Nashville, the immediate association is country music. These three guys though, sound like they could be from Atlanta or Memphis. What we have here is a garage rock dealing. And it’s a lucky draw.

They’ve been playing together for a few years. Wes and Murph were long time friends, discovering music together, united in their love for The Rolling Stones and Neil Young and they decided to form a band together. Marv on drums joined later. After some singles, the first record appropriately entitled 1971 came out in 2011. Indeed, it sounded like music that was brought over to us after a time machine trip from 40 years before us.

This year sees the group extremely busy. In breaks of their constant touring arrangement, they recorded the new album For The Love Of The Game in their practice barn, so it has that immediate live feel to it as you’d think it should.

The sound of the band is a typical power trio. All three instruments are playfully arranged together and every instrument is up in front of the mix. Singing is often in a duet between the bassist Wes and guitarist Murph.

The songs are carefully crafted and there’s a lot of dynamical range to them. Third song Baby sounds like it could be a great single outside of the record, and other songs build up an atmosphere of a developing record and it rolls down the grooves like a snowball down the hill. This is something that really makes this record great and something that we miss from the old classic rock lps. This sort of atmosphere is only interrupted a few times, once with a drunken sing-along No One Writes Sad Songs Anymore which shows a great competence of the band as classical songwriters. Well, you can’t live in Nashville and not learn how to write good songs. And then there’s Paradise Heights, reggae tinted tune that wouldn’t be out of place in Joe Strummer’s repertoire. Finally, there’s a cover of Tom T. Hall’s That’s How I Got To Memphis, which is not only a direct proof that the bands knows the history of rock and country extremely well, but also that they have excellent musical tastes.

The fun-packed record clocks out at the 37-th minute. The vinyl print sounds very good, but I could not identify what record plant mastered and printed the record. And just as I type this review, I’m finding out that there’s a brand new Natural Child record out already, barely half a year after For The Love Of The Game, and it’s called Hard In Heaven. Meet the hardest working band in the business!

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