After a four year hiatus between albums, West Chester’s North End return with Alpha State a feast of summery tunes released, rather anachronistically, in the throes of the North American winter.
Musically, Alpha State bears much of the modus operandi that North End has retained since its 2009 debut In Through the Musical Earth. The nine tracks combine the feelgood, major-chord rich sensibilities of emo revival, with a hint of vivacious math rock and a strong sense of narrative. Eight years on from their debut, the band are keeping to their blueprints but there is an extra infusion of imagination here, and sense of ‘wholesome-ness’. Melodies flow nicely into each other. There are no voids or cavities across their songs. Everything moves seamlessly and flawlessly, allowing the listener to get comfortably lost.
An enjoyable listen from start to finish, Alpha State shows that North End are a band constantly maturing and producing albums that are increasingly well-rounded as time progresses.