Dead North - Spot Remover (Cover Artwork)

Dead North

Spot Remover (2011)

Hip Kid

Cincinnati is pretty awesome sometimes. I mean, it gave us Team Stray, Black Tie Bombers, Atomic Potato, Loudmouth, the Frankl Project, Mixtapes, the Dopamines, Till Plains, Vacation (those bike haus dudes) and more recently, some high schoolers or whatever called Dead North. They're like a three-piece pop-punk band who sometimes pretend they're a four-piece pop-punk band, I think. Zach Powers plays guitar and sings, Alex Collins plays bass, and John Hoffman plays drums and sings (or something like that). Oh, and this guy Nat Hamilton from Siblings (another Cincinnati band, formerly the Buster League) sometimes plays guitar, I think. It's confusing to me still.

My first experience with Dead North was back when they were called Andy! and they played a show in my basement. I'm not sure whether the exclamation point is actually a part of their name, or I just got really excited when I said it. They assumed people were all avoiding their set due to them being a pop-punk band at a ska show, but really it was because it was hot as fuck in the basement and everyone wanted to drink in my sideyard and steal my dad's wine bottles. My friends all thought they were awesome, and they got better each show we went to. They opened for Kepi and the Queers at the Southgate House, too. That shit had to be insane as fuck; they won, like, some contest or whatnot. Regardless of all this backstory, they have this EP called Maybe Next Time, which came out a little while back, and now they also have a new one called Spot Remover. I realized I've been slacking on Cincinnati bands so it's time for me to review this shit.

The title track and first song, "Spot Remover", sounds like a pretty satisfying wall of sound. With the guitar tones and the way everything feels filled in nicely, it just sounds like there's nothing missing and it's a pretty good sound. It's catchy, but what else would you expect by this point? It leads off the EP by letting you know that these songs are the best they've released so far.

The second awesome song is "I Fell Hard", which basically sounds like New Creases mixed with the Dopamines. It includes some Cincinnati harmony (backup vocals singing the same melody as the lead) during the verse. This song is really catchy and is either my favorite or second favorite song by them; it's hard to tell when compared to the next one.

The third, and probably best song, is called "Fallout", and is honestly the shit, dudes. The instrumentals in this song are the best I've heard from these guys, from awesome guitar tone to a pretty sweet bassline by Alex. The vocals sound better than ever too, and the chorus is the catchiest they've written. You should definitely check this song out, because you'll fall in love with it. Zach's vocals sound incredibly intense and heartfelt throughout, and it's a pretty rad experience.

If you haven't listened to Dead North yet, then you're probably going about your life in an entirely wrong way, and should mend this as rapidly as possible. What I mean by this, is that you should check out Spot Remover now.