These days it seems like Providence just can't get enough of good ol' fashioned rock & roll. On any given night you can hit up your favorite bar and/or music venue in the city and you'll find a band turning up the amps to 11 and blowing up the stage like a rhythmic atomic bomb. One of those bands that's been tearing up the Providence music scene is Northern Lands with their rip roaring brand of rock & roll that doesn't hold anything back with reckless abandon. They currently have their debut album He Took A Dive coming out this week and its bound to destroy eardrums and turn your brain into electrified goo, all with putting you in a state of headbanging ecstasy.
Consisting of Josh Cournoyer on rhythm guitar and vocals, Josh Wallace on drums, Aaron Jaehnig on bass and Peter Hayden on lead guitar, this fearsome foursome got most of the album done at the magnificent Machines With Magnets in Pawtucket and they're releasing the record via Providence independent record label 75orLess. It captures the pure live essence of the band, a very genuine piece of music. What I love most about Northern Lands' debut is that every track has Cournoyer's unique growl. His voice is a mix between Bob Dylan and Tom Waits along with having a whole lot of emotional soul. I flat out love it and his voice is what sets He Took A Dive apart from everything else.
Here's the part of the review where it stops at a dead end and takes a sharp u-turn. How could I finish this piece of music journalism that hopefully you've come to know and enjoy without telling you which songs off of He Took A Dive I like the most? That would be like not ordering a hot wiener without going all the way. Time to stop lollygaggin', here goes something:
"Burnside" is the single off of the album and it starts off soft and then BOOM!!! The ante is upped when the hook comes in and well, you're hooked. "Sydney" features the wonderful Roz Raskin on backing vocals and it has a catchy riff from Cournoyer that is the backbone the track, bringing everything else together to create a truly special song. "Home Free" is down and dirty, all sorts of purty. Once you hear this song live you're bound to raise a glass and take back a few shots. I know I only mentioned a few, but that doesn't mean that the rest should be ignored. Every track off of He Took A Dive is bound to leave you breathless after you've finished being a one-person mosh pit in your living room.
Northern Lands will be celebrating the release of He Took A Dive at The Met in Pawtucket this Saturday on June 1st with Cactus Attack, Viking Jesus featuring 990WBOB personality Kris Hansen and The Mallett Brothers Band. You better go to the show because it's going to be unbelievable. Until then, grab a copy of Northern Lands' He Took A Dive. It's only rock & roll, but you're really going to like it.
- Rob Duguay