Meet your new favorite band. Northern Faces are a four-piece from Albany, New York that should be all over so-called alternative radio. Back in September, at the Fashion Meets Music Festival in Columbus, Ohio, the band told PCB that they were very focused on their live sound. Proud of their self-titled debut album, they worried about the recorded versions of their tunes living up to the live set. The needn’t have worried.
Northern Faces, the album, is one of the year’s best and will certainly keep any fan of rock and pop music engaged. “Wait, Wait, Wait” was the albums first single, though it bats second on the LP. The opening guitar riff is very reminiscent of the current crop of British rock and pop bands such as The 1975 and Kodaline. Northern Faces do not appear to have plans to head over to the U.K., but they should. “Wait, Wait, Wait,” makes sense as a single with its strong guitar and vocal riffs. However, the lead track, “Cops Come,” actually does a better job of showcasing the bands skillset.
There are of course the obligatory blues-inspired numbers (“Stay Away” and “Don’t Care”), but the Northerns don’t let it get out of hand and stick to their mission. Back on the rock and pop side, “Alone and Forgotten” should be the next single, followed by “Hard to Breathe.” The latter percolates with a little R&B feel, right down to the soulful vocals.
Northern Faces seem to be adopting the strategy that many bands are employing these days: be a band people want to see live. They’ve got that sorted, but what many bands forget is that you also have to be a band worth listening to. Fortunately,
Northern Faces have that covered as well. Hopefully, they’ll keep cranking out quality tunes like all of the ones on this album. If Northern Faces are coming your way, check them out and get this album ASAP.
10 Faces Out of 10
PF Wilson has been writing about music, TV, radio, and movies for over 20 years. He has also written about sports, business, and politics with his work appearing in Cincinnati CityBeat, The Houston Press, Cleveland Scene, Cincinnati Magazine, Cincy Magazine, Atomic Ranch, and many more. Check out his podcast PF’s Tape Recorder available from Podbean or in iTunes.