Recording information: Southern Tracks, Atlanta, Georgia.
With WELCOME TO THE NORTH the Music re-tools the dance-oriented vibe of THE PEOPLE EP for a leaner, harder sound. The chunky guitars and keening wail of lead singer Rob Harvey on the title track opener, for example, prove in no uncertain terms that the Music is here to rock. Interestingly, a reference point for WELCOME TO THE NORTH seems to be arena-tailored 1970s and '80s hard rock. The undulating riff and anthemic chorus of "Freedom Fighters," for example, nod to Guns N' Roses and Whitesnake, while "One Way In, No Way Out" recalls Metallica at their most melodic.
But the crunch and thrash of these songs is only part of the band's complex stylistic formula. The Music is still steeped in the legacy of British post-punk, as on the hypnotically swirling "Fight the Feeling" or "Bleed From Within"'s rumbling atmospherics. There is some of the band's signature groove in the bouncing rhythm of "Breakin'." The nervous, hi-hat-driven "I Need Love" has a distinctive New Wave flavor. The band boils these influences down on WELCOME TO THE NORTH, creating a sound that is familiar, contemporary, and packs a serious modern-rock punch.
What the critics say...
Spin (p.124) - "With epic yowls, psychedelic riffage, and one spazzy, funked-out party jam..." - Grade: B
Uncut (p.104) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[T]here are softly chiming melodies and everyday emotions that point towards a grand future as muscular soft-rock balladeers."
Alternative Press (p.113) - "Be sure to blast 'Cessation,' whose whiplash tempo and streaking harmonies are a wind-tunnel rush of energy." - 4 out of 5
- Welcome To The North
- Freedom Fighters
- Bleed From Within
- Fight The Feeling
- Into The Night
- I Need Love
- One Way In, No Way Out
- Open Your Mind