In its rush to place the Strokes atop a pedestal, the media overlooked the fact that the band simply wasn't a visionary force. But there's an upshot to the hype: The Strokes' success means the rest of NYC's so-called new wave bands (French Kicks, Mink Lungs, Secret Machines) are getting noticed. Another of those bands, the Natural History, is led by music publicist/vocalist/guitarist Max Tepper, who channels the poignant phraseology of Elvis Costello through the Jam and Wire to create the trio's catchy, do-the-pogo sonic blend. Judging by its first full-length release, Beat Beat Heartbeat, the Natural History is hooked on dissonant chord fragments to give the sound its edge, while drummer Derek Vockins often eschews the tight, snare-driven sound that Costello's Attractions and the Police pioneered in favor of a splashy garage attack.
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