The hyperbole circulating at Smother.net about Mrnorth's
album on Rock Ridge Music entitled Fear & Desire about
being a stellar disc are highly accurate, I think. Vocalist/guitarist
Colin Smith, guitarist Emmett O'Malley, bassist/keyboardist
Oisin O'Malley, and drummer Adrian Mondaunt, who
form Mrnorth, put together an ambitious and gratifying album.
Produced by Steve Lyon (The Cure, Depeche Mode),
the album latches lustrous orchestral updrafts with classical
piano and modern rock spires. The synchronized elements are energetic
and melodically glossed, shifting the movements from muscular
to limbering, and piloting the tempo changes between full throttle
and leisurely ladled as the chords are winded tightly and loosely
The valleys and peaks of the rhythmic motions radiate an Offspring
allure, The Killers' confident strut, and Aerosmith's
affinity for juiced up melodies and personalized vocal inflections.
The rock ballad "Sleeping Dogs" is reminiscent of a
cool Aerosmith tune with huge waves of emotional releases in the
vocal valves and the guitar solo which blazes vibrantly across
the melodic domain. The poetic versing in the lyrical content
penetrates human emotions like the track "The Players"
when Smith broods: "My love is gone/ She found a new home/
Said it's time she got moving/ She thinks it's all dead and gone/
But that's my heart she's chewing/ I want to bury my head in sand/
I found my home - bars and clubs." The track has an Offspring
voicing burrowed in Smith's vocal registers and the brulee of
The heavy tones on "So Many Things" are prinked with
trembling drum rolls and escalating guitar arcs akin to Wolfmother,
while the tingling glint in the guitar strobes are juiced with
tangy drum blasts on "Waking the Dead" having a likeness
to The Killers' melodic sensibilities. The heated synergy emitting
from the jumpy keyboards complement the lightly striking drums
and copulate with the elongated vocal swags that fife through
the wistful ballad "So Long Love." The textures are
fleshy and the rhythm rolls are organically pulsed.
The album's orchestral slates are deeply expressed in the opening
suite "Overture" with a gorgeous symphonic violin score,
and the piece "Overture Reprise" that adheres a gentle
classic piano embroidery to a foreboding horn arrangement and
soaring strings. Both orchestral pieces move into billowing pop/rock
heaps converging the lush girth of the bass knolls to the melodic
formations. "Love Is", which precedes "Overture",
is a comely number colonized from graceful hooks, brooding inflections,
and spearing chords. "For The Moment" precedes "Overture
Reprise" which interlocks stunning strings with hypnotic
drum cycles and cavernous horns melodically curved and merging
snugly. The scintillating guitar riff on "In The Country"
is interposed with filaments that thicken and thin out alternately.
The final two tracks place a folksy shaft through the pop/rock
spatiality. "Where No One Else Can See" breeds a Chris
Cornell acoustic sensitivity amidst a Crossfade propulsion.
"Rope" transfixes episodes of luminous guitar slides
along a soft piano tempo. The match grip in the drum strikes and
the dainty bass furrows are groped by searing vocal inflections.
The album concludes with an opulent string assortment in the outro,
which tops the disc with an elated mood.
Mrnorth's album Fear & Desire caramelizes orchestral
and rock elements beautifully. Bands like Queen and Guns
'N Roses have dabbled and experimented with such mixtures,
but Mrnorth carved out their own sound unlike their predecessors.
Their songs expand the breadth of pop/rock's field while maintaining
the songs melodic adhesives. All the hyperboles connected to this
band are well justified. Their level of creativity and production
is very high, their affinity for the music they play is monumental,
and hopefully it will always be this way for them.
2. Love Is
3. For The Cheater And The Cheated
4. Waking The Dead
5. So Many Things
6. The Player
7. Sleeping Dogs
8. Overture Reprise
9. For The Moment
10. So Long Love
11. In The Country
12. Where No Else Can See
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