Thursday, August 1, 2013

Album Review: North End - Cognoscere

Album Rating: B+
Instrumental music seems often to be a hit or miss area. Bands often tend to get lost in themselves and create songs that are just too sprawling or not intriguing enough. There is a fine line between too grandiose and just plain boring. When certain instrumental acts do stand out though, they do so by constructing tracks that hold your attention and take you on a journey though the group's sound. West Chester's North End is a band that is on their way to discover just how to do that. Blending indie and math-rock, punctuated with blistering drums and dueling guitars, North End's new EP, Cognoscere, will please any fan of instrumental rock music.

With instrumental music, it seems hard for bands to decide what the forefront is going to be. Will a lead guitarists take the helm of every track, or will the group aim to create more of a soundscape? This issue is a small, but pertinent one on Cognoscere. Each member of North End seems to be brilliant at their respective instrument. Guitars are tight, precise, and intricate, with both leads and rhythms. The drummer is relentless on the skins, with blistering speed and control, and the bassist ties each track together. The only negative aspect of the release is that the band is sometimes too good at once. It becomes hard to keep track of what is going on when a jaw-dropping drum section is buried under opposing howling guitars. Every member proves themselves to be very talented musicians, but it would be nice to hear each one showcased a bit more in a solo type of spotlight.

North End does have a way with melodies though, as many times throughout Cognoscere there are elements that truly stand out amongst post-rock instrumentalists. The title track is one such moment where each instrument's piece fits together perfectly and creates a beautiful picture. The final minutes of the EP are where North End shine though. "Warm Winter" closes the release with some of the band's best melodies, both complicated and beautiful. The track plays like a mixture of the complexities of Ghosts and Vodka, with the elegance of Explosions in the Sky.

Cognoscere overall is a solid release by a band that seems on the brink of something big. Keep your eyes on them, and you just might see them blossom into something as big as their sound.


Track list:

1. Miles Dyson
2. Gabardine
3. Test of Thyme
4. Cognoscere
5. Warm Winter

No comments:

Post a Comment