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True North: Somewhat SimilarSomewhat Similar (2004)
No Idea Records
Reviewer Rating: 4
Contributed by: adamAdam
(others by this writer | submit your own)
True North has found this really pleasing medium between arty progression and solid hardcore. They therefore avoid trap of taking odd time signatures and unconventional song structures to the point where songs are clearly "noise for the sake of noise," something that's plagued other bands in this po.
True North has found this really pleasing medium between arty progression and solid hardcore. They therefore avoid trap of taking odd time signatures and unconventional song structures to the point where songs are clearly "noise for the sake of noise," something that's plagued other bands in this post-Fugazi vein. A recognizable underlying vein of Gainesville-styled punk rock allows Somewhat Similar to sound inventive and interesting without ever coming off as pretentious.
In fact despite all the dissonance Somewhat Similar has more infectious moments than one would expect. From the barn burning opener "Hey, Let's Spend The Night Together" onwards the band smartly peppers their complexity with very catchy, traditional punk rock devices. The best example of this is likely the group shout-along chorus in "You j.o.j or f.o.b?" of "Motion (for the) sake of motion! Is it forward? Always forward!" The band sounds absolutely epic on big, forceful rockers like "Right Church, Wrong Pew." Whiskey & Co vocalist Kim Helm makes an appearance on "Summer Lovin" and the female vocals (particularly in the later chorus) are quite effective. Somewhat Similar flies by in 28 minutes with 8 songs and enough interesting moments to warrant playing the record all over again (which I've found myself doing more than a few times with this release).
Fans of Twelve Hour Turn will instantly recognize Dave Diem's vocals here and the influence of that band is certainly present. Ryan Murphy and Mark Rodriguez of Palatka and Matt Sweeting of Srikeforce Diablo / Asshole Parade round out the roster. While this certainly means No Idea's characteristic sound is a factor, True North covers enough new ground to distinguish itself. All in all Somewhat Similar is an awesome release and well worth seeking out.True North - Hey, Let's Spend The Night Together
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