This Thursday, October 24th, the East Coast troubadours of genre defiance, Natural Born Leaders, will be releasing their sophomore EP, Abominable Creatures.
Mike Martinez, (lead vocals, rhythm guitar) James Eddington, (bass, vocals) Rex Shaffer, (lead guitar) Ben Survant, (saxophone) and Kevin Murtha (drums) make up this Asheville-based quintet of hip hop soul rockers that have masterfully crafted a sound of their own. And with that, have developed an ever-growing fan base impatiently awaiting the release of this six-song collection of grooving, electrifying originals.
Martinez’s lyrical flow weaves seamlessly with the funk-drenched rock, the soulful acid jazz, or whatever stellar arrangement of sound is going on behind him. His lyrics hit heavy on current climates of community, or lack thereof, politics, and coping with this God damned crazy world.
The EP opens with title track, “Abominable Creatures,” which immediately entices with a steady rhythmic drum beat accompanied with a magnetic bass line that does not take a back seat once the other instruments fire up and Martinez starts rapping. Right away Natural Born Leaders (NBL) brings you into their world of Grade A groove, unique instrumentation, quality tone, and high energy.
“Calypsula” follows, and hits with a soulful jazz vibe that’s fit for a Caribbean night out. This track can definitely make strangers get friendly with each other on the dance floor, as it delivers with a distinct sensual vibe. “Napoleon’s Revenge” then busts through the speakers like a bulldozer with its uppercut of a riff, followed by a stripped down verse by Martinez before it kicks back in full force. “Guerrilla Glue” then brings down the level of heavy back to smooth grooving soul, again with Martinez rapping with tenacity and grit. “Voodoo” follows with a beautifully toned guitar that leads into another sensual soulful jazz number. “Hellraiser” closes out the EP, and as expected, Martinez’s hard-hitting lyrics and booming delivery never wavers, nor does the surging energy and wildly impressive, never predictable arrangements behind him.
NBL brings something new and fresh to the table, and doesn’t beat the proverbial dead horse with its music. If you’re looking for plain Jane cyclical music with no depth or gumption, look elsewhere. If you want something exciting, original, and chock full of uninhibited energy, I’d encourage you to obtain your physical/digital copy of Abominable Creatures this Thursday.
Additionally, check out our exclusive Sneak Peek with the guys, and learn a bit more about them and the EP.
Who: Natural Born Leaders
What: Sophomore EP, Abominable Creatures
Where: Asheville, NC
When: Thursday, October 24
About The Release: Abominable Creatures is our newest collection of tracks. Mostly our musings on love, war, strength, and prosperity, and how they all play into the human experience. We’ve been playing the majority of these songs in our live shows for quite some time, so we’re excited to finally break them out for their studio debut.
What’s Next: We are planning a quick grab at musical world domination.
My Three Records on a Desert Island: Abbey Road – The Beatles, Paranoid – Black Sabbath, southerplayalisticcadalacmusik – OutKast
If We Could Open For Anybody, It’d Be: Anderson Paak
Musical Pet Peeve: Noodling on your instrument
Beatles or Stones: Beatles
Biggie or Tupac: Biggie
Favorite Thing About Asheville: The mountains & the soul
Closing Words: We hope to change the idea that music needs to be limited to labels, and that concept extends to all facets of daily life. Labels do more damage than good in our ever changing world.