Review by Anthony Cruz
September 18, 2015 – Northernmost – Pinedale EP
Whenever a band is formed from the members of former bands, we wonder two things: why the former bands broke up, and what we should expect from the new band. For Massachusetts-based pop punk group Northernmost, rising from the ashes of older groups is just another opportunity for the members to start making music and playing shows again, with the knowledge to get it right this time. While the former members Tyler Bragger, Jesse Field, and Kayla MacNeil were more oriented towards the metal/hardcore scene, their new project is relatively relaxed and reminiscent oflate 00’s pop punk sensations such as Brand New, taking inspiration from the ever popular album Déjà Entendu. Northernmost’s sound is a spin on emotional, acoustic-style pop punk mixed with indie that they describe as “reverb rock.” The local sensation’s talent falls short of the mainstream, yet their determination and ideals make it clear that the band is bound to make a large impact on the music scene.
The opening of the EP begins with forceful guitar chords sounding off in an empty room, reverberating and making you feel as if you’re being played to in a vacant room. Slowly as the song progresses, more instruments are added. By the first chorus, the vocals are much more powerful and backed up, creating a nearly overwhelming composition. The song “Cloudy”, on the other hand, begins with a faster melody and a generally more entrancing sound that makes you want to start singing, even if you don’t catch the lyrics. Not to worry though; the EP ends on an acoustic version of this track, so you can calm down and hear out the lyrics you’ll need. Even on this acoustic track, however, the band’s intense vocals will leave your feet numb and your lungs breathless.
Though the band doesn’t have a large track record, they released their first self-titled LP in May 2014 and in 2015 they released a split EP with Last Great Hero. Compared to their self-titled release, the Pinedale EP shows a more contained, yet equally as emotional side of the band. The chills from this EP also come a lot more unexpectedly than they did in past releases, and this surprise tactic gives the band yet another edge over other artists. But while it is undoubtedly calmer and trickier than their previous album, it would be wrong to say that they’ve changed their sound. On the contrary, the band is still pushing their own brand of indie/pop punk that hooks the listener in on the first note, making it an essential listen for 2015.
This EP is set to release September 18, 2015, orders are available here.
FFO: Brand New, Balance & Composure, Title Fight, Turnover, Have Mercy