Single Review by Electronic Music Guyd, Phil Marriott
The next time you hear music cynics scoffing at the fact that songwriting isn’t what it used to be, or that bands don’t generate a feeling of excitement or euphoria anymore, do them a favour and point them in the direction of The Good Natured.
Fronted by beguiling 22-year old starlet in the making Sarah McIntosh, and encompassing bassist brother Hamish and drummer George Hinton, this band is set to make 2013 a very arresting one indeed.
They are by no means a new band, but a musical presence that with any luck will deserve the attention and acclaim of music fans searching for something a little bit more fulfilling. Much like Marina & The Diamonds, The Good Natured have previously released work with the credit given to Sarah as a solo artist. With three EPs under their belts (Warriors, Your Body Is a Machine, and Skeleton), and a scattering of singles and collaborations with dance producer Adrian Lux, the band are now signed to a major label (Parlophone), and set to unleash their first album.
Rumbling retro-tinged electronic chugger, ‘5-HT’ is the first indication of a truly promising debut. A more polished production is evident (this time round, they’ve enlisted ex-Sugababes producer Richard X), yet the band’s intoxicating dizziness and quirky charm remains. Which is apt. The promo video features — amongst other mind-benders – Sarah writhing on a pink sponge in high heels, and a Stethoscopic journey inside her body as she gets dressed and takes a Kleenex from a tissue box! No, I don’t know either.
But this is exactly why The Good Natured are a force to be reckoned with. Listen back to early recordings such as Warriors, the magnificently dramatic, Your Body Is a Machine, or the rousing tribal workout of Skeleton, and you will be reminded of why Altered Images or Siouxsie And The Banshees were so relevant back in the early ’80s. Particularly on the latter release, there is a sense of Celtic, melodic broodiness that makes for essential listening.
The Good Natured are a band with firm foundations in their songwriting, but much of their charm comes down to their leading lady. Visually, Sarah McIntosh is a female Robert Smith at his Disintegration best – all tousled black hair and charcoal eyes, with an overwhelming sense of vulnerability. And then there’s that unique affection – the slight over-pronunciation of the words. I defy you not to fall in love with her.
McIntosh has been quoted as calling her music, “electronic pop with a heart.” And if early indications of the band’s debut album are anything to go by, it’s a heart that is soon going to be beating very fast indeed.
‘5-HT’ by The Good Natured is released 10th March on Parlophone Records (pre-order now on iTunes)