REVIEW: Northernmost – ‘Northernmost’


Artist: Northernmost
Album: Northernmost
Genre: Post-Hardcore, Indie

Let me first begin by saying I love the name Northernmost. I know one is to not judge a book by its cover, but anyone acclimated with my writing knows just how much I appreciate a northern escapist mindset. With this on the tip of my imagination, when Northernmost’s debut LP Northernmost made it to my ears, I was ready to find where the northernmost point truly is.

Beginning with the somber and calming “Basic Space,” Northernmost introduce us with ease to their vast soundscape. Releasing a swooning quell on the mind, “Basic Space” takes us from serenity to gratification with pulsating drums, vast guitars, and a tight groove. A prologue to their purge of emotion, “Marble” continues with the vibes presented in “Basic Space,” though this time around we are gifted with vocals. As fluid as the music, Northernmost presents melodies that are as kinetically sound as the motion of their instrumentals, yielding an experience that left me pleasantly surprised by this lesser known (though I assure you not for long) local Massachusetts band.

Within my first few listens of Northernmost, its schizophrenic nature was immediately noted. For a band that only formed in December of last year, it is quite uncommon to see transitions as smooth and memorable as the band executes. From the linear momentous climb in “Fighting in my Sleep,” to the sporadic rise and decline in “Chasing Windmills,” the band is able to easily sew in between calm and chaotic.

Northernmost is a giant release for a debut LP, and there are certainly tracks that soar far beyond others. This may be because a lot of the tracks are similar in sound and nature, but it also highlights the band’s ability to do what they wish exceptionally well. Again, remembering that this is only a debut release, the fact that I want more from the band in the future only highlights the incredible potential I hear in Northernmost. Akin to the darkly poppy “Pleasant Secrets,” there is a lot buried underneath Northernmost, and I cannot wait for when they fully embrace it.

With no lapse in emotion, Northernmost will take you through the rocky trials of human existence. Just as the songs rise to reverberating sonic levels, these upsurges of emotion and sound are analogous to the unpredictable nature of life. It is far too easy to be caught in still waters, only to be taken away by a rush of current. Northernmost understand this well, for the musicality of their self-titled debut can act as a parallel to life’s constantly fluctuating nature.

While there are tracks far superior to others, what makes the album exciting is the notion that Northernmost are still in their infantile stages. There are moments on the record that flow so perfectly within themselves, that it truly feels like the band is on the verge of a cyclical collective mindset. But, if there is anything to take away from this exciting debut LP it is not which songs are better than others, but understanding that this is only the beginning. Instilling emotions of suburban life, and continous meditations alone in bedrooms, Northernmost will remind you of many things, all while taking you on new adventures. If the twelve tracks on Northernmost are what the band is able to churn out at the very beginning of their existence, I anxiously wait to see what is next. In the meantime, excuse me while I continue to swoon over “Marble,” “Pleasant Secrets,” “Chasing Windmills,” “Belittle Me,” “Jettison,” and “I Wish I Was Honest.”

SCORE: 8/10
Review written by Drew Caruso – (Follow him on Twitter)

Drew Caruso

Drew Caruso is a Bostonian who, when not writing about music and film, spends his time getting lost in New England, reading books, talking about science whether people want to listen or not, and more. To see the thoughts of a scientist by day and a writer by night, follow him on Twitter.
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