It seems Cincinnati’s finest musicians have teamed together to coin the musical project that is ‘National Barks’. The 5 track EP exemplifies the band’s staple funk, psychedelic rock sound that is reminiscent of a surf and garage group; demonstrated through swanky guitar licks and laidback vocals that send you over waves of bliss. The tempo occasionally nods towards a 50s American style prom at times in tracks such as ‘Japanese Car in the Desert’ and ‘Becky Bummer’, but the beat of the EP overall is charmingly laidback enough to keep your head nodding.
‘Creeps’ opens the EP and throws you in the deep end with its hi-hats and fast beats, introducing you to a well-rounded impression of what to expect from the rest of the EP. It’s difficult to suppress any toe-tapping or shoulder-shaking with this track and sends the listener through a groovy trip of twangy guitar licks suited to any seasoned retro fan. As mentioned, there are tempo breaks throughout the EP but not too much so the flare is lost; there is a formula maintained that marries the tracks gloriously into this groovy rapport between retro hooks and jazzy hi-hats.
Title track ‘Something I Can’t Shake Off’ closes the EP with more angst in it’s vocal scape, as well as something a bit punkier in feeling. It’s surfer-style hooks still lay an important ‘National Barks’ foundation, but it seems to provide a break in the emotional landscape it had thus laid out.
Proclaiming to have found previous inspiration within the 50s and 60’s music scene, the charisma of that time is bound to strike listeners and ring them in through a resonant and familiar charm that National Barks have managed to capture within their own established sound. The EP is reminiscent of those long summer nights, driving with friends and sunset skies; providing a soundtrack to the feeling of recent nostalgia married with an inner longing to visit the retro eras that the tracks nod towards.
Check Out ‘Something I Can’t Shake Off’ on Spotify HERE
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