MRNORTH

(UNITED KINGDOM)

FEAR & DESIRE

(2007)
LABEL:

AUTRE LABEL

GENRE:

ATMOSPHERIC ROCK

TAGS:
Easy-Listening, Intimist
"With their sophisticated Rock, good compromise between melody, aggressiveness, passion and refined aesthetics, MrNorth is definitely a band to follow very closely."
MARC M (27.11.2007)  
4/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s)
A funny story that is this Irish band, in which two brothers (Emmett O'Malley on guitar, Oisin O'Malley on bass and keyboards), their cousin (Colin Smith, vocals and guitars) and drummer Adrian Mondaunt, who is the only one who isn't part of the family, play. Their destiny led them to play in Italy where their reputation grew, then in the USA where they emigrated.

MrNorth mixes elements that are a priori unusual: a rock sometimes inspired by the traditional U2 (notably on "Where no one else can see"), or even by other more contemporary rock bands, traces of progressive rock, a melancholic pop with tragic accents, all arranged with guitars sometimes more bluesy and lyrical, a piano and synthesizers frequently used and finally sumptuous orchestral arrangements on occasion! 

Moreover, their record starts with a beautiful, very symphonic instrumental, which will be revisited later! And above all a lot of strong melodies, often developed in pieces of about 5-6 minutes or more. Here's a mix both modern and very organic sounding: the drums are muffled and powerful at the same time, the rumbling bass almost dominates some tracks, a bit like Chris Squire and his famous Rickenbecker (and Oisin O'Malley actually plays on a great Rickenbecker bass!). 

The music on "Fear & Desire" draws from the 70s and 80s and will remind some people of the Americans of The Secret Machines, but less rocky. Some tracks are quite developed, and sometimes chained, like the slow and lyrical "Love is" with the almost punk and always tragic "For the cheaters and the cheated" which evokes Muse by its sense of contrast between tense verses, with keyboards and clear guitars, broken by saturated refrains full of excessiveness, not to mention a break with the piano in the middle... 

MrNorth has a definite asset: the emotion that emanates from Colin Smith's voice. The latter possesses a timbre that sometimes reminds us of Bono, but more hoarsed, enhanced by a generous reverb... A slightly broken voice that caresses, moves and sometimes rises, powerful and fragile at the same time, like a desperate complaint (cf. the finale of "Rope", among others). The magnificent ballads "Sleeping dogs" and "For the moment" are two summits of the album, with their vocal melodies that are instantly imprinted in the listener's mind. And then there is the very long "In my country" (9:57), a long instrumental slide with a piano knitting the same haunting motif, introduced by a powerful and melodic bass, with a majestic orchestration and this song, melancholic and passionate, sometimes desperate. 

MrNorth thus possesses characteristics capable of attracting them a very varied audience... A band whose success across the Atlantic seems to augur a real return to a music that is certainly rock, but also sophisticated, whose sound is a good compromise between melody, aggressiveness, passion and refined aestheticism. A band to be followed closely for good.
- Official website
SIMILAR BANDS:
THE KORDZ, RADIOHEAD, U2, COLDPLAY

TRACK LISTING:
01. Overture - 2:19
02. Love Is - 5:20
03. For The Cheater & The Cheated - 4:41
04. Waking The Dead - 5:43
05. So Many Things - 3:18
06. The Player - 4:59
07. Sleeping Dogs - 5:23
08. Overture Reprise - 2:54
09. For The Moment - 5:41
10. So Long, Love - 3:57
11. In The Country - 9:57
12. Where No One Else Can See - 5:09
13. Rope - 6:08

LINEUP:
Adrian Mordaunt: Batterie
Colin Smith: Chant / Guitares
Emmet O'Malley: Guitares
Oisin O'Malley: Basse / Claviers
   
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