Native Son

This youthful six piece rock band from Knoxville combines the infectious excitement of a novice band with the fragile melodies and sensitive lyrics of late-’80s collegiate rock. The group’s songs are lilting and tuneful, full of an almost wistful perspective on youth; they cleverly mix up an English modern rock beat with typically American rock & roll intensity. But as befits a band whose roots are sticking out all over, the JudyBats are a bit unformed, relying a great deal on their influences without adding anything of their own beyond a few sci-fi lyrics — ”Daylight,” for instance, is about a girl who disappears into a crack in the sidewalk (”All the people said, gosh we really like that girl”). Another highlight of Native Son is a delicately done cover of Roky Erikson’s ”She Lives (In a Time of Her Own),” which works in part because the JudyBats, though lacking a distinctive voice of their own, are working so hard to create one. The sound of their exertions is reflective, innocent, hopeful — and lots of fun to listen to. B+

Native Son
  • Music