In a scene where bands hatch and dissolve, sometimes in the span of
months, North Elementary have been stalwarts who continue on with a
determined pacing that’s lent them a longevity other groups can only envy.
Thiers’ is a history that one could spend paragraphs unravelling, but let
it suffice to say that over more than a decade of music with 7 full lengths
and various EPs and 7” releases under their belts, North Elementary have
plundered and explored the cosmic depths of rock and roll. Their
forthcoming 8th full length, “And Every Color You Have Ever Seen” is a
document of the group’s curiosity and restlessness. There’s more space left
to be explored, and they are happy to rocket into that unknown with
discovery on the brain.
That’s not to say that North Elementary has forsaken what they do best.
There are still starry-eyed lyrical musings paired with six-string
supernovas. Psychedelic textures are still punctuated by aggressive
counterpoints. Harmonies and hypnotic keys create a nebulous rainbow that
fill the void between solar systems. And all the while the well-tuned
rhythm machine serves as an engine that never fails to push the group
wherever the ship gets steered. The differences here are mostly in time,
not texture. Previous releases have leaned towards songs that stretch out
and get where they want to go… eventually. Most of the tracks on “And Every
Color You Have Ever Seen”, however, clock in around three and a half
minutes or less. This just might be the first proper Pop record that North
Elementary has recorded.
While most groups start pop and end up experimental, North Elementary have
never been ones to do things conventionally. With their collective
experience they have managed to incorporate the aforementioned hallmarks of
their sound in a more concise structure, and it works to great effect. This
record is full of songs that feel longer than they actually are, and still
end earlier than you want them to. “Waste A Day” squeezes a serpentine jam
in the middle of a tight tune. “Wrapped Up Like Glass” veers into Pop-Punk
territory but still swirls with tripped out sonic tracers. “Slippin’ Into
the Sun” might contain the mantra of the whole record with the lyric, “I’m
slippin’ into the Sun, but I’m not burnin’ up.” North Elementary certainly
haven’t burned up, but they are on fire. “And Every Color You Have Ever
Seen” is a testament to this fact.