The Natural History - Beat Beat Heartbeat (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Natural History

Beat Beat Heartbeat (2003)

Startime International

The Natural History's debut full length, Beat Beat. Heartbeat is all that is good about precocious rich white boy musicians. Their album, on Startime International is so catchy that when it ends, you're waiting for more (mind you, this could also be because the 11 songs clock in at just 27 minutes). The Natural History manages to be endearing where The Strokes are annoying. Brothers Julian and Max Tepper along with drummer Derek Vockins have created an album that forces you to tap your foot.

It's catchy and quick like Hot Hot Heat and also draws comparisons to Interpol and The French Kicks. The band's spent the past year touring with bands such as Spoon, The Blood Thirsty Lovers, Oranges Band and Enon. The songs are choppy and yet endearing. "The Right Hand" has emphasizes how The Natural History can blend a choppy sound with a catchy guitar riffs to make a sound that isn't necessarily unique, but completely encapsulates what a band in their style should sound like.

Max Tepper's raspy vocals become secondary to the catchy melodies. Upon closer listening, his vocals are deep and wonderful. The last song, "Dance Steps" really showcases Tepper's vocals and provides a thudding bass to get your booty shaking. Lyrically the album is somewhat weak, but I found myself not even really paying attention to the lyrics so much as just listening to Tepper's voice. The production of this album doesn't overshadow the bands sound at all.

The album is a good starting point for this band, hopefully they're continue to master their sound. The only part where Beat Beat. Heartbeat fails is that four of the songs are under two minutes, leaving the album sounding somewhat rushed, slower songs such as "Do What You Should" are excellent, but need more development to them. This album is definitely worth looking into.