Monday, August 12, 2013

Loving ... "Cognoscere" by North End

I love instrumental rock music and thoroughly enjoy bands who express themselves in a vibrant, varied, and progressive manner ... bands that keep their tracks lean and fluid ... employing the post-rock emphasis on dynamics and the ebb & flow of contrast ... along with a math rock obsession with timing ... bands that keep their sound moving with stops & starts.

North End are one such band. Their recent 20 minute EP "Cognoscere" is a prime example of varied & vibrant instrumental rock music that really moves ... and has, in turn, moved me. A fast-paced thrill-ride of an EP ... "Cognoscere" holds a math-rock aesthetic close to the heart. The tracks presented on this EP have rather incredible time signatures ... it's as if Animal himself is drumming for the band ... and while this drumming could be tighter, there is a frenetic, almost chaotic, element to the percussion that I really enjoyed. I probably shouldn't have ... it is messier than it needs to be ... but I really love it for that.

The tracks also display a post-rock leaning ... with an ebb & flow apparent as the melodies move and evolve from soft to hard, quiet to loud, slow to fast ... and vice versa. I do like my dynamics ... it shows the musicians have chops ... and it is definitely apparent on "Cognoscere". It adds to the varied nature of the instrumental music presented ... keeping the listener on their toes & keeping everything interesting. This isn't necessarily for everyone ... but "Cognoscere" rewards those who take the plunge.

Yes, there are moments that will frustrate - its not the kind of instrumental album that works well in the background ... I guess North End do not wish to be ignored ... and who can blame them? Nor is it the tightest sounding album I've heard but that is, in many ways, down to personal taste ... one person's "tight" is another person’s "bland". I don't like bland ... and North End are definitely not bland.

These minor points aside ... I really enjoyed "Cognoscere". It has an ’aliveness’ that is captivating ... a real & tangible feeling of vitality that I found an utter delight.

I hear great potential in "Cognoscere" and wish North End every success ... especially on the road. I think their frenetic, energetic sound will really work in a live setting.



"Cognoscere" by North End is released tomorrow on Bandcamp ...

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