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The North Atlantic

Henry David Thoreau remarked famously that most men live lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them. The North Atlantic are not most men, though they are mostly men, and there is nothing quiet about their desperation. Wild-eyed and hungry, the men have been holed up in their keep on Golden Hill, crafting a sound and message that will make the kids steal their uncles' cars and dance like robots. The North Atlantic was born on or about October 15, 1999, when Cullen and Jason Hendrix met Jason Richards at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, MI. Intense house shows a ...read more

Henry David Thoreau remarked famously that most men live lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them. The North Atlantic are not most men, though they are mostly men, and there is nothing quiet about their desperation. Wild-eyed and hungry, the men have been holed up in their keep on Golden Hill, crafting a sound and message that will make the kids steal their uncles' cars and dance like robots. The North Atlantic was born on or about October 15, 1999, when Cullen and Jason Hendrix met Jason Richards at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, MI. Intense house shows and being caught out of their league (playing their second show with Lansing's Small Brown Bike and their fifth with Cursive) marked their formative years. After relocating to San Diego in 2000, earning three degrees, eight national, self-booked tours and many, many long drives, The North Atlantic is no longer being caught out of its league--they are defining it. The sound of The North Atlantic is stark yet arrestingly lush, a staggering blend of New York post-punk, Chicago noise rock and San Diego punk, all tied together by Jason Hendrix's drunkenly literate character studies and a penchant for textural embellishment and sonic layering. Wires in the Walls covers a remarkable amount of territory in its 48 minutes. From the raucous opening moments of the Lotus Eater to the layered guitar stomp of Drunk Under Electrics, the album's first four songs pass at a frenetic clip, only to run headlong into Scientist Girl, a classic indie rock tell-off to a departed lover, and Bottom of this Town, an intimate synth-driven lament. The second half of the album builds toward an epic final moment. Street Sweepers briefly returns to maximum fury and intensity followed by Atmosphere vs. the Dogs of Dawn, which delivers the album's most plodding and textured moments before exploding into a furious finish. Swallows Air is the sound of The North Atlantic swilling gasoline at a dance party and leads into Ministry of Helicopters, the band's definitive statement, which mates a tale of millennial paranoia and quiet desperation to a Paranoid Android-style sonic amalgam that spans the album's entire creative arc. Wires has followed a strange trajectory to its audience. Originally recorded in 2003, Wires was pressed by the band in a limited run just three months before Jason Hendrix's departure for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. On the eve of taking their definitive artistic statement to the masses, the band went on indefinite hiatus. Brothers Cullen and Jason were apart for the first time in over five years. Slowly, one reunion show turned into a couple tours, which turned into the belief that the most important thing to all three members was finding out whether their reaction to the anxiety and powerlessness bred of current political, economic and social circumstances would find resonance. Triumphing over distance, estrangement and a healthy dose of better judgment, The North Atlantic faces the future armed with whiskey-addled fervor, boundless energy and an abiding desire to quash the pessimism and stagnancy born of a million micro-genre obsessed musical taxonomists, holier-than-thou scenesters and kids who think they've seen and heard it all. The North Atlantic is rising...Iceland will be swallowed. « hide


Wires In The Walls
2006

4
7 Votes

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