Lulu Biazus and Carrie Lau
For the Love of the Game
These days, experiencing anything—movie, book, album—without expectations is next to impossible. Staying in the dark requires vigilance, because spoilers lurk everywhere. For example, your girlfriend is cheating on you. See how hard it is to avoid certain things? So I didn’t read anything, not even the description provided to me by the editor of these lovely pages, about Natural Child or their previous efforts before listening to For the Love of the Game. And I’m glad. Because what I discovered was a kick-ass rock record, which is exactly the kind of thing you don’t expect to randomly jump out and punch you in the face. Opener “8AM Blues” has a vibe which recalls Sticky Fingers-era Stones, and despite leaning on country crutches like hangovers, drunken dads and broken cars, its chorus “I ain’t going there with you/I got some shit I want to do” soars. “DTV,” after a pensive, minute-long intro, builds and bursts into the kind of buzzing, bouncing track that makes you want to put your fist in the air, while “Paradise Heights” flirts with a reggae beat as it relays its tale of codeine, guns and jail. Songs like “How I Got to Memphis,” and No One Writes Sad Songs Anymore” hit all the right country-tinted notes, and provide reflective moments on this outstanding a record, which takes possession of you like slow rounds of bourbon in a dive bar. The ass on the cover is great too.