© 2005, 2006 Static and Feedback
All rights reserved
|A colossal sound that keeps
Welcome to the North (Capitol)
By NICK TAVARES
STATIC and FEEDBACK Editor
When The Music appeared about a year and a half
ago they were instantly impressive. Four kids from
Leeds, England, barely out of high school were fusing
dance beats with a heavy Zeppelin hammer and
wailing vocals to create an intense and intimidating
soundscape on their self-titled debut. It was so
impressive, actually, that I was instantly skeptical of
how their sophomore effort would sound. How could
you follow up a debut like that?
You get cocky. That’s how.
That’s when it hit me: for all the obvious musical talent this band has, their debut didn’t have much of an edge.
They were out to prove themselves, and while it was an amazing debut, it was still very much a debut. They
weren’t totally comfortable in their own skin yet, and on hindsight it shows.
This is not the case with Welcome to the North. From the opening smash of the title track, something is
noticeably different. There’s a swagger that didn’t appear before, there’s confidence and a crunch that could only
come with time and touring. Robert Harvey’s searing vocals wail throughout the record with a noticeably more
mature grounding. He’s not just working to hit the high notes; he’s using his voice to really stretch out every song
to hit it at the core. On “Fight the Feeling,” a slower number, Harvey shows a restraint that gives his voice an
especially poignant power, while on “Breakin’” he combines the best traits of Perry Farrell and Robert Plant
“Freedom Fighters” has a killer riff that would make Jimmy Page turn green with envy, and the bass/drum combo
of Stuart Coleman and Phil Jordon make their case as one of the best working rhythm sections in rock, with
tracks like “Welcome to the North” and “One Way In, No Way Out” showing their growth in merging club beats
with a rock stomp.
The one recurring theme throughout “Welcome to the North” is confidence: confidence to kick back and work a
groove, confidence to let a riff revolve around a track, confidence to stop trying so hard to prove your worth and
just let it rip. The Music let’s their colossal sound speak for itself here, and that’s more than enough.