Local Record Review: Northern Labour Party

Beat Blvd. is Heard Mentality's weekly review of local releases. If you're an OC musician or band with something new to offer--vinyl single, full length album, CD, cassette--we want to hear from you! Send copies, along with any photos and PR material, to Beat Blvd., c/o OC Weekly, 2975 Red Hill Ave., Suite 150, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. You can also e-mail us digital downloads at lbose@ocweekly.com.
Local Record Review: Northern Labour Party

Northern Labour Party
Ready to Burn
Ohm's Law Records

As noted in last week's Cat Party review, when it comes to music Southern California Anglophilia is a strain that has never fully disappeared even long after its 1980's high point. On their second release Northern Labour Party--and both the name and the spelling give it all away without even having to add a "UK" to their name--play that up to the full, with five tracks that balance between moody bass-led rumble and synth flourishes and just-accented-enough vocals that could have been huge on KROQ's playlist during 1983. 

Scott Brandos handles said vocals as well as guitar solidly enough; the smoothly anthemic "Just One More Night" is a standout, hitting the same kind of effortlessly empowering surge that can be often heard in an act like VNV Nation. 

It's the rhythm section of Steve D. Brown and Colin Altena that really drives the band at its best--the tight, paranoid groove that drives the appropriately titled "No Escape," further punctuated by Jeffrey McFerson's growling synth additions, and if the start "A Bright Night Light" is almost the beginning of "She's Lost Control" by Joy Division then hey, only steal from the best. 

They're playing a CD release show this Saturday at Fitzgerald's in Huntington Beach so if this sounds just up your alley, you know where to be.

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