Friday, November 2, 2007

Internet Brothers...

Our Brother The Native is:
John Michael Foss (guitar, drums/percussion, piano, bass)
Joshua Bertram (guitar, bowed banjo, sounds/samples, synth, vocals )
Chaz Knapp (piano, guitar, bass)
They are three young Americans (two aged 17, one 19) who write shockingly beautiful music. The ever-exciting Fat-Cat Records is responsible for discovering OBTN towards the end of 2005.
Their debut album "Tooth & Claw" was formed of thrilling, beautifully jumbled gushes of ideas and emotions – its campfire clap-alongs, skewed vocals, and use of circuit-bent children’s toys saw John, Josh & Chaz coming on like the kid brothers of Animal Collective or CocoRosie.

Following on from that release, yet marking a major shift and forming very much its own space, their new album Make Amends, For We Are Merely Vessels is a bold and expansive record that ebbs and flows with huge power and considerable skill.
The eight songs here clock in at between six and fourteen minutes each and take their cues more from expansive post-rock / white noise rather than any freaked folk scene. It was self-recorded in Josh’s dimly-lit Michigan basement between May – December 2006.
Where the previous album was all jagged / ruptured songcraft, ‘Make Amends…’ is a much more fluid, immersive affair, a dense weave of layered (and partially buried) sounds worth a deliberate and slow building grasp of dynamics. Devoid of regular verse / chorus structuring, its songs sprawl out and unfurl with their own particular logic, mixing rich drones and flickering detail with brief but swollen, almost anthemic bursts of emotion, and the simmering threat of explosion. At different points it recalls the likes of Sigur Rós, Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Stars Of The Lid, Popol Vuh, or Black Dice circa ‘Beaches & Canyons’.

Whilst ‘Tooth and Claw’ was recorded and pieced together through internet to-ing and fro-ing, before Josh had even met Chaz and John Michael, let alone played any shows, ‘Make Amends’ was carefully planned out. Before recording, the band had been playing these songs together live for over a year, allowing them to change shape and grow from show to show (a process that’s ongoing), and had a good idea of how they wanted them to sound on record.

Brilliantly controlled and hugely ambitious for a group so young, ‘Make Amends..’ is a deep and powerful album that deserves your attention.

***About the video below - 'My Daughter the Sun' (Pappa Bones track):

"Captured live on February 11th 2006, on the second day of the FatCat 'Open Circuit' festival at Kunstencentrun BELGIE in Hasselt, Belgium. This show was notable as being the first time Our Brother The Native had ever played together. Having previously collaborated by sending files over e-mail, the three had in fact only all met a couple of days before the show, and only had a couple of hours to practise. Nevertheless, they sounded just great and went down a storm."


Jack said...


Chris has been saying for ages that your Irish ass started up a blog. I didn't want to believe him because I didn't think you'd succumb to this nonsense. But fuck me, you're blogging like you've just turned 22 and realised you're not a teenager anymore.
Happy Birthday Corway. Hurry up back to Canada where the music is kicking and the girls are too fucking hot.

The Dining Dead said...


You dink! I can't believe you even wrote a comment.
Get working on some new tunes and send me MP3s.

You're going to love the new Our Brother the Native record. Trees Part 2 is such an amazing song.

Atmospheric, white-noise, post-rock.

Chris said...

Hey, I'm just spreading the word of your blogging abilities.
Jack, write an article on Pete's blog.
Your shit magazine would publish something like that probably.


Jack said...

I'll send some tunes your way this weekend when I hit an internet café.

The shit has hit the fan; my wallet is being a fucker at the moment and never seems to have money in it when I open him, so I haven't been able to pay my electricity bill this month.

I'll just starting dating Leigh again and marry into her family because they have too much money to know what to do with it. They need someone like me around who knows plenty of ways to spend their money.
Electricity bills being one.

Chris, you'd love to work at this magazine. Unfortunately we already have a girl who brings us coffee in the morning, so there's no openings yet.

Sinéad said...

Happy birthday mista, may St. Vincent start stalking you with declarations of love.

I absolve you of going home early last night.

Have fun tonight.

chris said...

Hardy har.

Heh, you reckon' Leigh would fuck about with you one more time? She has already hit rock bottom once, I doubt she will go down that road again.

Besides, I saw her dancing to Britney in the Sports Bar a few nights go. She's clearly fucked in the head.

The Dining Dead said...

Jack - Just hurry up and send me the choooons!
Leigh would't go near you again dude.

Sinead - Thanks a Gleeson. I have 3 weeks until she comes back. That's 3 weeks for her to fall in love with me.

Chris - "Besides, I saw her dancing to Britney in the Sports Bar a few nights go. She's clearly fucked in the head."


Jack said...

You two are dicks.

I'm going to start uploading music on this blog now.
You're fucked Corway.

Actually, I should probably go to class first.

You'll hate me for saying this but I think Arsenal are going to do you over tomorrow.

The Dining Dead said...

Will you stop dicking about. This post was supposed to be about Our Brother the Native but you have turned it into reasons why Leigh should start shagging you again.

Drop it dude, she's waaaaaaaay out of your league anyway.

Haha! ;)

chris said...


Leigh is hot but she is a little too unstable.
Thank God only a couple of us read your shitty blog, so there's no chance of Leigh reading about her sketchy mentality or Jack's love for her.

Jack said...

Chris, this entire article was written about you:

Liz said...

I don't really know what I have walked into here, but I already feel sorry for this poor girl Leigh.

Anyway, Our Brother the Native are brilliant. Do they have a website though? I can only see their myspace, and it doesn't have any new songs on it. Do you know where I can find their new material?


The Dining Dead said...

Don't worry about them Liz, they're Canadian so they don't know any better.

Album is out mid-February next year.

They'll probably start uploading stuff gradually to their myspace.

Or not.

Anonymous said...

we uploaded "we are the living" from the new album and just recently put up a cover of radiohead's new song "videotape" :) come check it out when you can. hope all is well <3