Destroy Nate Allen – With Our Powers Combined (Featuring Gnarboots)


Destroy Nate Allen is a husband and wife folk punk duo from Portland, Oregon. Nate and Tessa Allen are relentlessly optimistic and perform great interactive live shows. Since 2007, they have set foot in forty-eight American states, released six full length albums, and played over 700 shows. It has allowed them to do almost everything in their power to show people a good time with simply two voices and a guitar. However, it doesn’t always translate well in a studio setting. But for their seventh album they teamed up with Gnarboots (Asian Man Records: former members of Link 80 + Shinobu) and a whole heap of extra musicians.

Nate stated “We have a blast travelling together and playing rock n’ roll, but we’ve had trouble capturing our live energy so we asked our friends for help. We flew to the Bay Area and tracked fifteen songs in three days. We were able bring in a horn section (Ska!!!) to pull off wild concepts that went beyond the scope of our traditional stripped down approach. We are proud of the album and we can’t wait to show everyone!”

‘Waking Up Is Hard To Do’ has the nagging insistence of the most annoying alarm clock ever! Then it’s about getting your priorities right in ‘Emergency’ as Nate finally knuckles down to some overdue studying. DNA take some of the most ordinary and mundane aspects of life and turn them into wonderfully observational songs. So in ‘We Talk Occasionally On The Internet’ it looks at how real face-to-face interaction has been replaced by internet chatter.

One of my favourite songs is ‘Our First Apartment (Ghetto)’ which takes in those dodgy low-rent places. It reminds me of one of the student houses that I lived in, where rain would drip in from the ceiling long after the rain-storm had passed. Thankfully I didn’t have to contend with ants in the kitchen (unlike Nate and Tessa).

Nate stated “Travelling on highways across the country, you see a lot of billboards. When we came across Mouse’s Ear Gentleman’s Club, the name was so ridiculous we burst out laughing. It inspired this song [Boobie Bar]. Jesus defended a woman about to be killed for committing adultery. He drew a line in the sand and challenged her accusers, “He who is without sin cast the first stone.” They all walked away.”

After the acoustic ‘Long Weekend Blues’, they go for a full-throttle ska romp in ‘Distracted Nate-O-Bot’. It’s here that Gnarboots make their mark with roaring background vocals, blaring horns and a pounding electric bass. Those with a weak stomach may want to skip ‘Hospital’ about the operation after Tessa’s appendix burst. But this is transposed by the road-trip where the vehicle kept breaking down (Almost Out Of Texas) and trying to eat healthily (Vegetables).

Rating: 7.5/10

Reviewed by Peter Willoughby

01. Waking Up Is Hard To Do
02. Emergency
03. Chick Flick
04. We Talk Occasionally On The Internet
05. Our First Apartment (Ghetto)
06. Boobie Bar
07. Long Weekend Blues
08. Distracted Nate-O-Bot
09. El Diablo Tacos Are The Best
10. Hospital
11. I Need To Know
12. We’re Gonna Make It
13. Almost Out Of Texas
14. Vegetables
15. Great Idea

Band members:
Nate Allen: Vocals, Guitar
Tessa Allen: Vocals, Tambourine
Anthony Cotham: Keyboard, Piano, Gang Vocals
Aaron Carnes: Drums, Percussion, Gang Vocals
Adam Davis: Guitar, Banjo, Gang Vocals
Ryan Christo: Bass
Bob Vielma: Trombone
Noah Sanchez de Tagle: Trumpet, Gang Vocals
Seth Blankenship: Saxophone
Jack Shirley: Guitar, Bass on tracks 2, 3, 6
Lauren Brief, Roberto Martinelli, Jack Shirley, Nate & Tessa: Hand Claps

Record  Label: Selfreleased, June 2012

Weblinks: Website / Twitter / Facebook  / Bandcamp

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