Somewhere South of Here
With Her Came the Birds


3.5
great

Review

by Trebor. STAFF
November 23rd, 2016 | 53 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A refreshing piece of sorrow

Making sad punk music can be a very difficult thing. Music of this hue is often too poppy, melodramatic, and insincere to leave a lasting impression on the listener, but Michigan four piece Somewhere South of Here have found the right balance and struck a chord with their very sad, but very heartfelt debut EP With Her Came The Birds. In the form of a concept album about a fight between the protagonist and his girlfriend, her death in an automobile accident, and the protagonist struggling with the aftermath, Somewhere South of Here pummel the listener with sorrow and gloom in the form of catchy punk tunes.


Comparisons of With Her Came The Birds to The Hotelier’s Home Like NoPlace Is There are obvious. Both deal with the death of a loved one and the aftermath, but Somewhere South of Here’s approach is a tad less dramatic, and doesn’t hit nearly as hard as NoPlace. I’ll chalk that up to With Her Came The Birds being only a short EP and not having ample time to develop the same kind of narrative, and also there aren’t many albums in general that come close to hitting as hard as NoPlace. Sonically however, With Her is solid - little things like melodies and lyrics that are repeated in multiple songs are rousing and help build a cohesive concept album. The lyrics deftly paint a picture of grief and regret, and as the album ends at its darkest point narratively, the listener isn’t left with any hope. The hopelessness displayed in the lyrics ends up being the biggest detriment as it paints the lyrics as an exercise in misery bereft of meaning.


Somewhere South of Here’s strongest suit is the loud/quiet/loud song structure they employ in their music. “3 P.M. Three Days From Now” opens with soft arpeggios that are broken by a scream “I can’t feel my face” as thunderous guitar chords flood the mix, then it all drops out and is replaced with softer clean tone melodies. The song continues to ebb and flow in this way as does the rest of the album, resulting in a dynamic sound. The guitar playing, made up of unusual chord shapes, riffs, and arpeggios drives the music in a way very reminiscent of Captain, We’re Sinking. Vocalist Jordan Wagel doesn’t have the strongest singing voice. His vocals don’t exactly soar, which results in his voice being slightly buried in the mix. This ends up being a positive as it helps foster an atmospheric sound, and it allows the intricate guitar playing to shine. Wagel’s shout however is very strong, and Somewhere South of Here are at their best when Wagel is screaming his guts out, such as on the choruses of “3 P.M. Three Days From Now” and “Hypothesis.”


With Her Came The Birds is not too saccharine or melodramatic which is quite refreshing. The lyrics are dark, but the music itself is often punchy and hard hitting. Somewhere South of Here’s influences are fairly apparent, but their sound doesn’t lean too heavily towards any specific genre, mixing elements of pop-punk, emo, post-rock, and post-hardcore, hell there’s even a blast beat in “Wish You Were More Receptive.” Crafting an album that flows remarkably well and packs an emotional punch, Somewhere South of Here pull off a concept album with their first release, and prove to the world they can pull off anything.



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user ratings (18)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
November 23rd 2016


56416 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Listen here: https://somewheresouthofhere.bandcamp.com/album/with-her-came-the-birds



Sput user and rad dude PitchforkArms is the vocalist/guitarist for this band

Spec
November 23rd 2016


35651 Comments


sweet

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
November 23rd 2016


56416 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Check it Spec you will dig

Spec
November 23rd 2016


35651 Comments


good review too i'll jam it later tonight

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
November 23rd 2016


56416 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks bud

PitchforkArms
November 23rd 2016


1607 Comments


Trebs you are a gentleman and a scholar. cheers

Realm
November 23rd 2016


2499 Comments


Bad review

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
November 23rd 2016


56416 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah

chug73
November 23rd 2016


3796 Comments


Is this good

Artuma
November 23rd 2016


30215 Comments


"Sput user and rad dude PitchforkArms is the vocalist/guitarist for this band"

wow cool gotta check. love the cult of luna references

Digging: Ni - Pantophobie

leviegalapon
November 24th 2016


78 Comments


oh snap these guy's are locals for me, I hope I get a chance to see them perform

dbizzles
November 24th 2016


12987 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Huh. Summary and first paragraph sold me on at least a listen. Here goes nothing.

Digging: Demigod - Slumber of Sullen Eyes

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
November 24th 2016


56416 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

lol Didn't even catch the Cult of Luna references as I've never heard them

CaimanJesus
November 24th 2016


3740 Comments


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNi8C1XDhk0
Dope song

dbizzles
November 24th 2016


12987 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Wow. So this was pretty great, honestly.

Taxt
November 24th 2016


1275 Comments


Yeah this is pretty solid stuff. Nice work Pitchfork Arms!

wwf
November 24th 2016


6219 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wtf why did someone 1 this

dbizzles
November 24th 2016


12987 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It was probably zak lol. I'll rate it to help out that avg.

wwf
November 24th 2016


6219 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

'Realm' on this page I guess, I don't recognize him

dbizzles
November 24th 2016


12987 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Huh. Only has one other 1 rating.. must have some serious feeling about this lol.



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