The second big slab from North Carolina’s Natural Causes. While their first record on the Snot Releases label was a rough around the edges affair with raw production and a clear fascination with the jittery, pop-inflected synth-punk of bands like Ausmuteants or Lost Sounds, this second self-titled effort finds the band “maturing” in all the right ways. , whether you’re talking about the brooding, Fall-esque “Average Cost of Living,” the up-tempo garage punk of “Gun,” or the big, careening melodies of “New Hues.” The production here is also much clearer and more powerful than before, revealing far more depth to the band’s sound than what you could hear on the earlier 12”. We tend to love bands that fall in the cracks between subgenres here at Sorry State, and the way Natural Causes combine the atmospheric arrangements and angular riffing of post-punk with the energy of garage-punk, all the while sprinkling the whole thing liberally with big pop melodies, makes them a perfect fit for the label. Recommended if you like your punk loud and aggressive, but still forward-thinking and adventurous.