Northbound – ‘Death Of A Slug’ Review

Posted: by Sean Gonzalez

Listen to Death Of A Slug while you read! 

Pop-punk is one of the most interesting genres ever. It might even be the most predictable genre. Listeners are bombarded with frontmen telling stories of how they almost are happy, they shed their emotions without losing their dire need to find more to embed themselves in, and then they find a new hope in their release of their secrets. It’s a vicious cycle that fans/listeners of the genre fall into over and over without ever wanting it to end. Constantly a new band appears and share their side of sucking at life with a new breath of air as fans rally behind them just wanting to feel okay. Northbound bring these same stories from Florida with just as much excitement in their music as any other group. Death Of A Slug is a viciously catchy record with twelve more songs for pop-punk fans to shout along with.

The attitude of singer Jonathan Fraser is what people would come to expect from an angst driven, emotional roller coaster 20 year old. ‘6am Beer Man’ is the lyrical poster for the entire album, breaking into a two step explosion with Fraser letting his voice with “Driving around the country, writing songs in my bathroom, it all looks the same, it all feels the same without you.” I feel for the kid, he knows his head is in the right and wrong place at the same time. This is evidenced by ‘Caffeine And Nicotine’ which is a beautiful story embellished with a stellar dichotomy of not knowing what to fall in love with. Opening track ‘Lucky Sentimental’ is the attitude of pop-punk, making references to T.V. shows with infectious melodies and upbeat progressions.

Northbound take the time to experiment with their sound which is a huge sigh of relief in the musical waves. ‘Dropout’ is a track laced with anxious moods and minor chords to sound big and dark. It’s a confession of trying not to become apathetic in a colorless relationship. Immediately after ‘Kiss’ introduces us to light sounding guitar chords with a Jimmy Eat World feel to wasteful kisses without a point. ‘Half Drunk / Fully Alone’ wanders through chord progressions at a leisurely pace, giving a semi-drunk feel to the song. It’s the variety of moods and sounds bands like this travel through that makes their records memorable amidst the rest of the genre, and Northbound deliver.

Closing track ‘I Want To Hate The World’ is just what to expect from an ending song. It recalls the deepest experience with a big world scope to view the surrounding environment with. It’s a reflection we all feel connected to because in this genre, we are not the ones to easily forgive ourselves. Northbound make a point to connect with people and have multiple anthems to sing along with making us feels just a little bit better. Death Of A Slug is here to systematically soothe the souls. The album releases on June 30th from Animal Style Records.