Review: Head North, ‘Bloodlines’

Posted 3 years ago by Joel Funk

imageWritten By: Joel Funk Edited By: Caitlin Kohn

I had not listened to Head North before listening to “In The Water” while reading the announcement that they had signed to Bad Timing Records. I thought I had heard of them, however, I was confusing them with a band called Please Head North. I was happy to have my confusion cleared up with that one song. There is something special about it that made me eager to hear whatever was to come next for Head North.

I’m glad that “In The Water” was the song that Bad Timing chose to introduce us to Head North with, because I’ve listened to ‘Scrapbook Minds’ once, and I don’t know that I would have been so charmed if this was the first material I’d heard from them. “In The Water” was a clear indication of where Head North wanted to take their music, and sounds the closest to their new ‘Bloodlines’ EP. The release as a whole is riffy, atmospheric, and experimental.

Head North has no problem weaving in and out of genres on this release. The first two tracks on the release, “Brave Hands” and “Bluejay,” are incredible pop rock jams. The first of the two sounding very much like a sibling to “In The Water” in the best way possible. This is all sonically, as there is no lyrical connection between the tracks whatsoever. “Bluejay” is one of my favorite songs on ‘Bloodlines’ and that is solely because of the first few seconds. That opening line is only accompanied by the strum of a guitar, and it makes for a beautiful introduction to the track before the whole thing explodes.

Once the music picks up in “Bluejay” the song transforms and becomes this incredible coup d’etat of everything Head North is capable of. The drums will hit you right in the stomach, the guitar work is intricate and precise, and the vocals are soaring throughout the track. On top of that, the chorus is direct and to the point. You’ll be singing “Please just come home/’cause I want to feel hope again now” before the song is through.
Now, onto the genre weaving.

“The Path” is, for lack of a better phrase, a banger. This song isn’t as immediately accessible and polished sounding as we’re used to hearing from Head North. If more hardcore bands had a sound similar to “The Path” it might be a genre that I wouldn’t find so difficult to get into. It hits heavy where it needs to, and continues to build on itself as it progresses. Kids are going to lose their minds if this song gets worked into their live set. This is one giant catharsis and you can’t help but feel moved by it.

And then just like that, “Old and Grey” starts. These two tracks could not feel more like polar opposites, but they feel like they’re supposed to be listened to in the order they’re presented. It’s a slow moving, heartfelt indie rock that you can’t help but love. It’s the beauty after the storm, the rainbow after the hurricane, the break between bangers.

There is no part of “Windowless” that doesn’t feel huge. This feels like a very Wonder Years move, saving the best track for last, but I can see why they did it. The lyrics feel reminiscent of what we’ve heard earlier in the release, but this is what it’s all be building up to. Climax in the closure. If the goal is to keep the listener baited, then congratulations are in order. I am caught: hook, line, and sinker. And I am incredibly hopeful for the future of Head North. 5/5

Review: Head North, ‘Bloodlines’

Posted 3 years ago by Joel Funk

imageWritten By: Joel Funk Edited By: Caitlin Kohn

I had not listened to Head North before listening to “In The Water” while reading the announcement that they had signed to Bad Timing Records. I thought I had heard of them, however, I was confusing them with a band called Please Head North. I was happy to have my confusion cleared up with that one song. There is something special about it that made me eager to hear whatever was to come next for Head North.

I’m glad that “In The Water” was the song that Bad Timing chose to introduce us to Head North with, because I’ve listened to ‘Scrapbook Minds’ once, and I don’t know that I would have been so charmed if this was the first material I’d heard from them. “In The Water” was a clear indication of where Head North wanted to take their music, and sounds the closest to their new ‘Bloodlines’ EP. The release as a whole is riffy, atmospheric, and experimental.

Head North has no problem weaving in and out of genres on this release. The first two tracks on the release, “Brave Hands” and “Bluejay,” are incredible pop rock jams. The first of the two sounding very much like a sibling to “In The Water” in the best way possible. This is all sonically, as there is no lyrical connection between the tracks whatsoever. “Bluejay” is one of my favorite songs on ‘Bloodlines’ and that is solely because of the first few seconds. That opening line is only accompanied by the strum of a guitar, and it makes for a beautiful introduction to the track before the whole thing explodes.

Once the music picks up in “Bluejay” the song transforms and becomes this incredible coup d’etat of everything Head North is capable of. The drums will hit you right in the stomach, the guitar work is intricate and precise, and the vocals are soaring throughout the track. On top of that, the chorus is direct and to the point. You’ll be singing “Please just come home/’cause I want to feel hope again now” before the song is through.
Now, onto the genre weaving.

“The Path” is, for lack of a better phrase, a banger. This song isn’t as immediately accessible and polished sounding as we’re used to hearing from Head North. If more hardcore bands had a sound similar to “The Path” it might be a genre that I wouldn’t find so difficult to get into. It hits heavy where it needs to, and continues to build on itself as it progresses. Kids are going to lose their minds if this song gets worked into their live set. This is one giant catharsis and you can’t help but feel moved by it.

And then just like that, “Old and Grey” starts. These two tracks could not feel more like polar opposites, but they feel like they’re supposed to be listened to in the order they’re presented. It’s a slow moving, heartfelt indie rock that you can’t help but love. It’s the beauty after the storm, the rainbow after the hurricane, the break between bangers.

There is no part of “Windowless” that doesn’t feel huge. This feels like a very Wonder Years move, saving the best track for last, but I can see why they did it. The lyrics feel reminiscent of what we’ve heard earlier in the release, but this is what it’s all be building up to. Climax in the closure. If the goal is to keep the listener baited, then congratulations are in order. I am caught: hook, line, and sinker. And I am incredibly hopeful for the future of Head North. 5/5