The PhiLL(er)

Natural Selection Cover
1090 Club

Natural Selection
SideCho Records

Natural Selection, the sophomore release from 1090 Club starts off in a manner that clearly illustrates why many have used Cursive as a reference point when describing this quartet from Billings, Montana. Opener "ITSON" drives forward with keys and violins playing a large role in the composition that will likely have fans of Cursive reminiscing over the Gretta Cohn-era of that bands existence. The following track "Off My Mind" moderates the tempo while maintaining a strong, accentuated beat and then by the third track "Conversations", it is clear that 1090 Club are doing their own thing.

Beyond the up-tempo and deliberately paced opening tracks, 1090 Club continue their use of violin, keys, and paired male-female vocals to cover a good amount of ground. The previously mentioned "Conversations" features segments of primarily female vocals laid upon a bed of light electronics before delving into a more lushly arranged chorus that reminds me of, and I might be crazy for thinking this, "Gangsta's Paradise".

Other tracks such as "Claire" and "Positive Reinforcement" include portions of male-only vocals, which provide an air of distant memory that goes beyond the dreamstate eeriness achieved through most of the album with 1090 Club's use of harmony and instrumentation. These male-only vocal sections may be some of the weaker on Natural Selection, but with the instrumentation around them, they actually seem quite appropriate contextually.

In many ways the progression of the album's ten tracks stylistically parallels the swells of energy and emotion that can be found within each of Natural Selection's individual offerings and provides for a cohesive and dramatic listen.