A return to 60’s garage rock that’s simple and direct loaded with the kind of heart and soul sincerity that makes this something special. A return to fun? One can only hope. This kids have something special on the ball and they know how to rock. Well done.
Lead singer, guitarist and keyboardist Eric Carnevale, bassist James David Maney and drummer Jesse Leonard are the three band members of the formation ‘Acting Natural’. Originated in Tampa, Florida, they began to play music together as teenagers of almost 13 years old. Under the group name, they have now released a first mini-album with six self-composed songs.
On the cover of this ep and also in the accompanying video clip of the opening song “The One”, they look like their sixty-part hairpiece and their neat black costumes with tie a sixties version of ‘The Beatles’ or three of the ‘Fab Four’. The Liverpool band is therefore the main source of inspiration for the music that has created this recently moved American trio to New York City for their first album.
Acting Natural wants to revive the golden age of the rock’n’roll music anno 2017 with their “straight-to-the-rack” melodic pop songs that are broadcast three times. “The One” is the first example of this, but also the first single “Pairadice” and “Missed The Train” closure belong to this category. That typical sixty sound is also heard in the quieter ballads “Nicole” and “Bloom”, trying to show that they are targeting a wider audience than just the Beatles fans.
The song “Early Morning” is a piano ballad that could also have been on a Beatles record of the early 1960s, and even the voice and vocal style of Eric Carnevale could be attributed to the young Paul McCartney listeners. The future will have to show whether there is still enough interest in this sound that made such a furore half a century ago. But the benefit of the doubt deserves these gentlemen of Acting Natural.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2017
Looking at the cover of Acting Natural’s self-titled debut EP, it’s easy to guess this trio was influenced by The Beatles. And of course the band’s name makes me think of the Buck Owens song “Act Naturally,” which was famously covered by The Beatles in 1965, with Ringo Starr on lead vocals. And, sure, The Beatles are among this young group’s influences. But they’re not trying to copy that band, and their sound takes inspiration from other places and other decades than the 1960s. They possess a good sense of fun, and they seem to have given a good deal of attention to getting the vocals just right. The band is made up of Eric Carnevale on vocals, guitar, piano, organ and percussion; James David Maney on bass and vocals; and Jesse Leonard on drums and vocals. Originally from Tampa, Florida, they are now based in New York.
The CD’s opening track, “The One,” has a distinct 1960s pop rock sound, both in the music and in the vocal delivery, especially in the way they harmonize. But it is not an attempt to imitate a particular sound, but rather it shows a mix of influences. For example, the cool bass line has a more contemporary feel. And partway through, the song takes on a different groove for an interesting bridge. The lyrics are fairly straightforward: “I don’t wanna play games/I don’t wanna be the fool/I just wanna be the one for you.” And who doesn’t want to hear that? That’s followed by “Nicole,” which has a mellower pop sound. This one has more of a 1980s thing happening, particularly in the chorus.
For me, this EP starts to really get going with “Pairadice,” a fun and catchy tune, its title obviously a play on the word “paradise” – that love is both a glorious thing and a gamble. They play on that idea throughout, with lines like “You can’t win every time” and “Sometimes I think I must have lost my mind.” But it’s the sound of this one that really makes it a memorable track, with elements of disco and a catchy vocal line in the chorus. It’s ultimately a positive-sounding tune. As good as it is, it’s the following track, “Bloom,” that is my personal favorite. This one has a sweeter folk-pop vibe that is absolutely wonderful. And check out the opening lines: “Oh, the snow, the birds and the bees/And the gin and the weed and the love.” I love how they start to establish a sort of cheesy vibe with that first line, “the birds and the bees,” then immediately work against that with the second line, which is a continuation of the thought, but in a more realistic direction. “The years tick by/The toys and the bikes and the games/And the spies, they just don’t shine like they used to/Holidays just aren’t the same.” This is a really good song.
“Early Morning,” to my ears, has the most obvious nod to The Beatles in its sound. “Left my heart open like a door that I kept cracked/Just for you.” The EP then concludes with a fun, solid rock song titled “Missed The Train.” “I missed the train/Wondered why I came/Addicted to the pain/In every memory that we made.” And I love that lead on guitar in the second half of the song.
CD Track List
- The One
- Early Morning
- Missed The Train
Acting Natural was released on CD on October 27, 2017. It was released digitally on September 22nd.
Acting Natural – Acting Natural (Independently released CD EP, Pop) Refreshingly upbeat and melodic pop music. These guys have a cool sound and neat image and if all the variables fall into place…they could be huge. The band is comprised of Eric Carnevale (lead vocals, guitar), James David Maney (bass, vocals), and Jesse Leonard (drums, vocals). This disc would already be impressive, but even more so considering it is the debut from these charming young gentlemen. Great melodies, infectious rhythms, fine-tuned arrangements…plus vocals to die for (particularly the harmonies). The guys in Acting Natural play classic pop in the truest sense of the word. Six standout cuts here…and they all sound like hits. Our favorites include “The One,” “Bloom,” and “Missed the Train.” Most of these tracks bear similarities to British invasion pop from the 1960s. Totally fun stuff.
November 2017 Comics and Reviews by
|Title – ‘Acting Natural EP’
Artist – Acting Natural
I case you weren’t aware, Acting Natural, fueled by a mutual interest in bringing back the authenticity of raw Rock & Roll music, lead singer & guitarist Eric Carnevale, bass guitarist/vocalist James David Maney, and drummer/vocalist Jesse Leonard have aligned their unwavering dedication to creating quality music with a signature sound.Their inspirations range from legendary artists of the past and present, including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Led Zeppelin, and The Beatles, just to name a few. Acting Natural’s unique sound is focused on passion and solid musicianship.Acting Natural released their first single “Pairadice” and the response was incredible, reaching #1 on the Top 5 Most Added and reached #9 on the FMQB A/C Chart. This young trio, originally from Tampa, Florida, relocated to New York and have now brought out their wonderful self-titled Acting Natural EP.
1. ‘The One’
Kicking off with some ’60s rock and pop throwback sounds on ‘The One’, they back that up with the more modern sounding ‘Nicole’. Then comes their first single, ‘Pairadice’ a fun, jaunty track, that’s packed by the harmonious ballad ‘Bloom’. The staggered gem ‘Early Morning’ is one of the best tracks on the EP, for my money, and then the album comes full circle with that distinctive ’60s sound combined with early ’90s indie guitars on ‘Missed the Train’.
Displaying playlist for Punk Punk Goose on 2017-10-21 22:00:00
|#||Track||Artist||Album / Comment|
|1||The Recovered Road To Al-Sham||Anouar Brahem||Blue Maqams|
|3||Erume Kondó||David Virelles||Gnosis|
|4||Ali’s Midnight Wish||BangTower||Hey, Where’d Everybody Go?|
|5||Lover||Philippe DeBarge with the Pretty Things||Rock St. Trop|
|6||Should i||Harripaul||new EP|
|7||Oh my goodness gracious!||Planet Zero||~ local ~|
|8||Heat feat Ashi||Miss Tara||~ 2017 single ~|
|9||Pierre Van Der Linden, “Spiritual Swung”||Focus||The Focus Family Album|
|11||Romy Haag (Matt pop mix)||Data||2-Time|
|13||Element of Surprise||Cathedrale||J2-B2|
|14||Back to earth||Nik Turner||Life In Space|
|15||Rockstone (Version)||Native Meets Lee Scratch Perry||Black Ark Showcase 1977|
|16||Glass Elevator||HyeTension||Virtual Ritual|
|17||My Lisa||Michael Tracy||s/t|
|18||the Secrets we hide||Jack starr’s Burning Starr||Stand Your Ground|
|19||Once before igo||Johnny Mathis||Johnny Mathis Sings The Great New American Songbook|
|20||that’s how i’m loving you||James Warren||Innocent Bystander|
|21||isolation (Live in Switzerland)||the Warlocks||Vevey|
|22||Everyday is halloween (Live in Canada)||Ministry||Toronto 1986|
|23||A Thousand Islands (instr)||Mark Vickness||Places|
|24||The One||Acting Natural||Acting Natural EP|
|25||Quick Joey Small (Live in Japan)||Slaughter & the Dogs||Tokyo Dogs|
|26||the Promise||Black Death Resurrected||The Return of the Iron Messiah|
|27||the Wretched Path||Bound by the Grave||Abuse of the flesh|
|29||Suffer||Act of War||v/a – Warm Kids Frozen World (Split with Ratsmasher)|
|30||The Sweet Primroses||Shirley Collins||An Introduction To|
“ACTING NATURAL lead singer & guitarist Eric Carnevale, bass guitarist/vocalist James David Maney, and drummer/vocalist Jesse Leonard are fueled by a mutual interest in bringing back the authenticity of raw Rock & Roll music. Their new ACTING NATURAL EP is a stunning debut that proves they have aligned their unwavering dedication to creating quality music with a signature sound. The ACTING NATURAL EP will have a worldwide digital release on September 22, 2017, followed by a physical CD release on October 20, 2017. Coinciding with the digital release, ACTING NATURAL attended the iHeartMusic Festival on September 22 in Las Vegas, NV.”