North Of America
"Brothers, Sisters" CD (Level Plane)
It's getting tough for me to care whether I've described this or that emo band as embodying this, that or the other quality. It's getting harder for me to care that so and so said such and such about a record; usually they're wrong and their comments mark them as an idiot to boot. With that noted, this record - and the rest of the records like it that I've reviewed lately - will likely define the sound of college rock in the nothings. Before you react by arguing that I couldn't possibly know what I'm talking about, I'm well-versed in post-core, having listened to and sold more of the seminal works in this vein. However, I would rather have opened that vein up and let every last bit of creative blood drain out, but that's an impractical solution for such a geographically dispersed scene. Much like R.E.M., New Order, The Jesus And Mary Chain and Depeche Mode created an entire style of music which could be dismissed with two derisive words (which could also be desperately held on to as a shred of identity by people who had nothing else going for them besides fucked up haircuts and worse fashion sense - much like most fans of emo, as it turns out), bands like North Of America will in turn provide stupid fucking shit-talking assholes with ammunition to ignore and deride otherwise good music just because it happens to be surrounded by whatever the fuck this dissonant, angular noise is and other bands that sound just like them. Someday, we'll look back on this and it will all seem funny. Until then, I'll sell this, buy another six pack and listen to Gunmoll while I wait for them to start playing mid-sized venues to bros of frat boys.