I recalling sitting on a friend’s balcony drinking beers circa the turn of this last century and flipping through a copy of Rolling Stone Magazine. Details are hazy but The Strokes were on the cover. They had just released their seminal and albeit best record Is This IT. As I recall the “The” bands, which included The Strokes, The Vines, The Libertines, et al, were going to “save Rock n’ Roll.” I remember asking my friend if he thought rock n’ roll needed saving. “I had no idea it was even in trouble,” he said.
Well here we are a decade and a half later and I’d like to think that rock n’ roll is still doing just fine. And it is for good reasons; one of them being that rock n’ roll, in one form or another will always be omnipresent in music. It continues to inspire bands like Arizona based rock n’ roll quartet False North whose debut record Burning Fast is soaked full of jangle pop ballads and sensitively crooned vocals.
False North wastes no time in letting listeners know who their main influences are. Even if you aren’t privy to the same background information I am, if you’ve been a fan of mainstream rock n’ roll for the last five years you can pick up hints of The Strokes and Arctic Monkeys within the first ten seconds of Burning Fast’s bright, upbeat jangle pop opener “Confetti.” It’s a perfect rock record opener in that it largely lays the groundwork for what is to come and it also draws you in with its big swells of hard to resist guitars. False North then does a costume change and comes back with the Arctic Monkeys inspired “Feedback Fleet.” Later they combine both of these styles back to back on “Minnesota” and “Wolves.”
Later the tune “Distance” takes on an Interpol-esque feel at first before sort of shape shifting its way into a duller version of a Smoking Popes tune. False North is best when they sound more like themselves, which is to say that they’re not trying so hard to sound like someone else. And though songs like “Knifepoint Robbery” and “Nights Like a Noir” obviously still bare a resemblance to their aforementioned peers they remind one what makes rock n’ roll so much fun.
With Burning Fast False North offer up twelve tracks of largely upbeat and glammy garage rock tunes that possess the ability to hook you in with their sparkling melodies. False North may have not re-invented the wheel with Burning Fast, but then again the wheel never really needed re-inventing now did it?
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