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The Music
Welcome To The North
Capitol Records
www.themusic.co.uk


If this album were a movie, its tagline would read: "Hypnotic. Elating. Addictive. And they're barely drinking age." For a band whose debut album struck many as being mealy Britpop at its most mediocre, they've come a long way in two years. Welcome to the North is a lean, mean dancing machine. Gone are the masturbatory jam sessions and the faltering lyrics. Gone is the awkward attempt at cramming every possible genre into each song. What's left is a clean, crisp, powerful album, skillfully blending influences instead of sloppily piling them on top of each other.

Part of their newfound coherence probably comes from coming of age in the high-pressure, high profile music industry. Part of it comes from sheer practice. Part of it obviously comes from the pure talent that was even detectable in their debut. But part of it almost certainly comes from teaming up with Southern Tracks Studio producing guru, Brendan O'Brien (Pearl Jam, Rage Against The Machine, Soundgarden). Spending a few weeks in Hotlanta with the godfather of grunge is bound to make their album smokin'. Some of that good ol' southern grit is more apparent in some tracks than others (see "Freedom Fighters"), but the clarity of vision and direction is an all-pervasive effect of O'Brien's masterful touch.

Yep, their first album might have put them on the map, but Welcome to the North is the album that is going to keep them there. The Music is definitely worth a listen.

-Emily Strong

Track listing:
1. Welcome to the North
2. Freedom Fighters
3. Breed From Within
4. Breakin
5. Cessation
6. Fight the Feeling
7. Guide
8. Into the Night
9. I Need Love
10. One Way In, No Way Out
11. Open Your Mind


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