North Seasons – Eyes For The Blind review

North Seasons 3In September of last year, we ran an introducing piece with Northern quintet North Seasons at the release of their debut single, Silhouettes. Back then, they had their EP fit and ready for release, but they’ve spent some time sitting on it, and yesterday they finally got round to dropping it. Signed to LA based Kill/Hurt Recordings, the band have picked up attention from Scuzz TV and Kerrang!’s Alex Baker, though their ambition is to take melodic hardcore into the heart of the mainstream. Whilst they’re a long way from that yet, they’ve done well to begin achieving their primary motive for forming; to breath life into a rather dead scene.

The band are in no apparent hurry to start the music off, with sub-minute intro simply entitled … to commence the EP. It gives tantalisingly little away and sets an atmosphere, but it’s the sort of track I’d instantly skip over if it came up on my MP3 player’s shuffle. Instrumental it may be, but it’s hardly instrumental to the record. Second up is the band’s debut single, Silhouettes (which you can check out below), which manages to strike up the mix of harsh and soft vocals every melodic hardcore band strives for. Thrashing continuously, the track is relentless and unforgiving; a sudden shock after a subtle opener, and one that catches you off guard after every stop in the music. The repeated stop-start style loses its originality fairly rapidly, but it’s good whilst it lasts.

Without the stop-starts, there’s only relentlessness in A New World Order; at full volume, it totally absorbs you and almost blacks out any other thought. In our interview with the band, they promised us moments edging on experimental and on a close listen they’re present in this track – to bulk these up and make more of a deal of the individuality of this music would truly set them apart. A lengthy spoken word intro to Bitter once again appeals to this side of the music, and establishes a gravelly, down-to-earth edge that runs through the track, culminating in a short, sharp close.

There’s a slight American hint to Harvey Tuck’s vocals in Good News, and one of the main problems of recording an EP in your bedroom comes to light in the music. As well as losing out on an expert producer with their own insight, the top notch quality equipment is compromised too. At moments the track fades for no apparent reasons, and whilst it might not be a technical fault, if it’s intentional, it’s slightly disappointing. Glancing over these slight down points, the track is punchy and clear; it holds significant single potential with its accessible and soaring vocals.

With suggestions of a dance track underlying, Never Forget This does it’s bit to stand out on the album, and when the percussion and riffs drop away, there’s a vastness filled with wavering and the EP’s electronic and eclectic edge. The release’s title track winds things up in the best way, hard hitting and accomplished, showcasing what the five-piece can do so very excellently. In our interview, the band admitted they were still at a stage of finding their “sound” and I can’t help but agree; what they’ve created with Eyes For The Blind, though, is an impressive first rung in the ladder.

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