(How To Die in The North)
Wellwater Conspiracy, Hall and Oates, Flaming Lips
Agreed... this could be one of the weakest album covers we have posted on our site, it seems to have no ties to the intriguing album name, How to Die in the North. Well, we gave it the college try along with the requisite rotations. Frankly, after the first few rotations, this was a difficult one to grasp. We were scratching our heads asking ourselves where the Manchester UK native songwriter was going. Oddly enough at about the fourth rotation, things began to click for us. This is a homage to 70s pop rock overlaid with eccentric lyrics and darker themes. The initial simplicity spread into thorny wild fire after we kicked things into heavy rotation.
1. You Should’ve Gone To School
2. Love Isn’t Anybody’s Fault
3. Just Because I Love You
4. Grim Cinema
5. Good Morning Headache
6. Thieves In Antigua
7. Atom Bomb
8. Lay Me On The Floor
9. Why Doesn’t Anybody Fall In Love Anymore
The seven year hiatus for mastermind, Brian Christinzio (BC), served him very well. The result is a very thought-provoking and mood-setting work. Think Dan Fogelberg making love to Anne Murray while Mike Patton creeps in the background mashing up Beach Boys and Hall & Oates tunes into his own. Check-out third track "Just Because I Love You," this is one of those tracks that sticks with you and you can't get out of your head. The track is so simple yet so rich, we found ourselves yearning more and more for that 70s comfort feel. Picture yourself, dragged out with your mom as she gets her haircut at the Lemon Tree or the oldies channel plays in the background and you are time warped back to that time where everything was so simple and easy.
Rewind back to the opener, "You Should Have Gone to School" that features hypnotic Shins-like harmonies along with a blatant message. "Grim Cinema" has a tremendous hook and melody that will involuntarily get you hips swaying to the genius falsetto that is BC Camplight. "Good Morning Headache" is an extremely mellow ballad which is way out there and trippy. Terrific echo and harmonies bring this one together as the piano takes over into a Queen meets Meatloaf theatrical piece. "Lay Me on the Floor" diverges a bit into experimental territory. Dark hymnal chants and math-rock rhythms best characterize this one, this track definitely veers off the a bit. "Why Doesn't Anyone Fall In Love Anymore" closes things off really trekking back to the 50s and 60s with its Franky Valli vibe. This one conjure up images of Grease's "Beauty School Drop Out" without the doo-wop thing.
Brian Christinzio (Piano/vocals)
Mancunians Coombe (Vocals)
Stephen Mutch (Bass)
Jonno Prestbury (Guitar)
Adam Dawson (Drums)
Robbie Rush (Keyboards/Guitar)
How To Die in the North is refreshing and bold. We greatly appreciate the texture of this album. We strongly recommend you do not give up on this one. Take it in the car with you and let it engulf your senses. This is an eccentric album and we still catch subtleties that we had missed on previous listens. If you are looking for something new and different yet comforting for the soul, pick this one up. We hope that this gets B.C. fired up to get back in a rhythm and not take such a long break from the music world. He has raw original talent. - 7/7/2014
Standout Tracks: Just Because I Love You, You Should’ve Gone To School, Thieves In Antigua