Sometimes there are bands that break up and should stay broken up. Sometimes there are bands that break up, get back together, and you wish they had stuck to their first instinct. There are some bands whose mark is left years after their break-up, before they even knew of their importance and influence. These bands make you wish you had known about them earlier so you had the chance to see them live just once. To me, some of these bands are Saetia, Lifetime, Mineral, and The North Atlantic; I will get my wish from The North Atlantic (and Lifetime).
The North Atlantic was formed in 1999 in Kalamazoo, Michigan - yes, that is actually a real place. The band relocated to San Diego in 2000, and after many national tours, decided to call it quits in 2003. Singer/guitarist Jason Hendrix decided to leave the band and go to college in Chicago only three months after Wires in the Walls was self-released. Time passed, and distance couldn’t keep the band apart. One reunion show turned into a few tours, which turned into the decision to keep The North Atlantic going, just like the motion of the ocean.
Wires in the Walls will be re-released in July 2006 by We Put Out, a label that is creating an indie-buzz. I have to thank them, and the band for coming together again and giving me a chance to be at the record (re-)release party in July in New York.
Wires in the Walls is pure intensity, fueled by Jason Hendrix’s catchy riffs and urgent vocals, his brother Cullen’s compulsive drumming and bound together by Jason Richard’s bass playing. The album starts off with about 25 seconds of hand-clapping, building momentum for the spazzy , turbo-charged opener to this 48-minute soon-to-be post-punk staple. “Drunk Under Electrics”. The two following tracks keep your head nodding as it’s blown back and forth by the rock coming from your speakers.
The album takes a turn in momentum at its standout track, “Scientist Girl.” The bass-heavy song is by far the catchiest track on the album and the one song that hits home with me in particular. It’s a tell-off to a former lover and my former lover actually happens to be a scientist girl. The last verse is kind of juvenile but the statement rings true: “I’d rather listen to my Clash records all night than be with you.”