Review done by Nico Pellowski
Artist: Further North
Release Date: September 9th, 2017
Genre: Emo, Post-Rock, Pop Rock
REVIEW: Further North’s “Buffalo” is a beautiful indie record that blends the lines of emo and post-rock together in a seamless fashion
It’s quite a feat for a band to create a body of music that not only fulfills the critic’s checklist of a recommended buy but maintains a large amount of heart in the process. Seattle’s own Further North have not only crafted what may be a fine record, but a well-designed send off to their career in the Northwest music scene.
Buffalo is a record that attempts to blend emo licks and math rock etiquette all dressed in a post-rock envelope that’s soaked in coats of reverb. While the record addresses the topics of mental illness and heartbreak, which while all too common in the realm of the emo genre, the band executes lyrically well enough in an effortless manner that could only come from careful attention to composition and a well-versed performance. The album successfully creates an environment that not only tackles the topics in full but also addresses the succession and life after hardship, presenting an image that strays away from self-deprecation and more into a hopeful territory.
Even when the record verges on the corny, such as the beginning of Vespers III with a fade-in that seems straight out of the 00s, the track proves itself interesting with a diverse composition that brings in math rock guitar licks to a belting chorus bleeding with pop tendencies and genuine. Ultimately, this is an example of how the record succeeds as it perfectly blends the genres of emo and post-rock together while also introducing newer elements in time, including drawing from bands Bright Eyes and Sunny Day Real Estate.
Even though the record displays strong songwriting and production, its main weakness lies in its diversity holistically. While the compositional structure directs itself like a vivid choose your own adventure story, the songs do occasionally go into repetitive cycles of quiet and loud court matches that never seem to divert from itself in approach. This holds the record back from achieving the ambitious nature that it could so easily attain and leave it into an all familiar territory.
In truth, Buffalo is a record that could easily be dismissed as trite and unremarkable, but the compositional essence of the songwriting and the attention to detail all within the quality execution make it an album worth noticing and absorbing. It’s a record that succeeds at creating what it sets itself out to be while also playing with familiar ideas in an unfamiliar.
Further North Socials
Live Session of some older material by Further North