BUZZBOX- Age before <i>Beautiful</i>: Navel's #2 marked by maturity

From the Beatles to the Strokes, many is the band that's fallen victim to sophomore slump: the second album that sounds a bit too much like the first one. In examining Into Something Beautiful– the forthcoming second album from local rockers Navel– many adjectives come to mind, but "repetitive" isn't one of them.

Then again it's understandable if six years, a new drummer, a new producer, and fatherhood cause a band to change things up a little.

"We're a little older now; we've had more life experience," says bassist Drew Worsley. "The songwriting is better."

That life experience is most evident in the album's darkest and longest track, "Twenty-Six Days," a song chronicling the death of the father of Drew and Wally Worsley following a brain aneurysm last year.

"I think Drew and I just needed to get it out," says Wally, the group's guitarist. "It was a tough one to write, but we had to do it."

Helping the Worsley brothers navigate their loss in addition to other, more typical, pitfalls of the creative process was Navel's newest member, drummer Gre Brier. When he joined the band in 2003, the Worsleys found themselves for the first time writing songs with someone other than each other. Brier says there was no blood barrier to overcome in working with two brothers.

"Eight out of ten people who don't know us personally don't know they're brothers," Brier says. "We're just three dudes."

And no matter how the album is received, these three dudes know they can count at least one little dudette among their fans– Brier's 15-month-old-daughter, Korinne, who was born during the recording process.

"She's sort of predisposed to our music," says the proud dad. "My girl Laura came to so many shows, our baby was rocking out in the womb, so every time our music comes on, she starts dancing around."

The band hopes to elicit an equally gleeful response from fans when Into Something Beautiful comes into the world and onto record store shelves August 15 and at the CD release party at Starr Hill August 19.

Veteran Charlottesville rockers Navel release Into Something Beautiful on August 15.