Florida’s True North boasts an impressive pedigree. Included in their ranks are former members of Palatka, Strikeforce Diablo, Asshole Parade and my personal favorite, Twelve Hour Turn. Yet, while Dave Diem’s vocals will be instantly recognizable to fans of Twelve Hour Turn, the influences of the other bands are less conspicuous on Somewhat Similar.
True North sounds like a more rock oriented Fugazi, crossed with the rhythmic tendencies of mid ’90s art bands like Corm, Hoover and Crownhate Ruin. The songs feature gnarled sounding guitars playing very early to mid ’90s sounding emo licks. The drummer also has a very unique style, bordering almost on being annoying. He does a lot of little weird time changes that don’t really affect the mood or progression of songs, but they mess you up if you’re trying to tap out the drum rhythms in your car; it gets a little frustrating. The vocals are kind of trashy, bar band sounding, similar in ways to the Hot Water Beard’s vocalists. The overall feel is plodding, powerful and longing, a good fit for those of us who enjoy our punk rock melodic, mathematical and punishing.
I like True North’s previous full length, We Speak in Code, more than I like this one. That’s not to say that I don’t like Somewhat Similar. Songs like “Right Church, Wrong Pew” are totally awesome, and rock me right out of my pants. I guess I just miss Palatka’s spastic screamo and Twelve Hour Turn’s incredible songcraft and delivery too much to concede that True North is all I have left to remember those bands. Nevertheless, these guys are on an upward rise and gaining lots of attention, so give them a look.
No Idea Records: http://www.noidearecords.com/