By My Northern Edge
I'm BAFFLED. Totally and utterly baffled. Let me explain.
My Northern Edge's first demo has 4 songs on it. The golden rule (or so I thought) when putting your demo together is to put your best, most original and attention grabbing single first on the list. Apparently not.
First up is 'December', it has quite a moody sexy bass intro running into a sexy little guitar riff. This is the kind of music born to be played by angsty boys with too much sexy hair. Unfortunately this is where the excitement ends. The song isn't particularly interesting or attention grabbing, the vocals are quite monotone and although I thought I caught a whiff of Jarvis Cocker in there somewhere, the singing is ultimately devoid of personality. This is not a good choice for the first song on their first demo. It does not make you sit up and listen. It isn't bad; it just isn't particularly good either. And I occasionally did find something interesting in the lyrics it's on the whole it's quite non descript. Another problem (and the shape of things to come) is that it's over 5 minutes long. It takes a hell of a long time to get going and then unfortunately doesn't. At all. I was pissed off I'd spent precious minutes of my life waiting for it to do something.
'Stay Alive' is next in line and I was hoping that I might hear something to make me want to carry on listening. I was disappointed. The vocals need some serious work. The lead can sing but again, he is far too monotone and thus made me want to press stop. Although I quite liked the guitar in the middle it became quite depressing as this is just before where the song should FINISH! If a song is 4 and a half minutes long it should really utilise the extra time but this just moaned along and didn't have anything new to offer after 2 minutes and 44 seconds, where it really should have ended.
'So Slow' I'm pleased to say again, had a great intro with something like The Doors about it and a nice melody which I found myself slightly waving my head around to. This song in particular could be vastly improved by better vocals. The lead isn't that bad but he can't control his voice or the song and it's a shame because I got the feeling that he is probably capable of doing so.
This is music that needs more energy. It's almost morbid in its delivery and sounds like lazy playing. And I mean lazy, not fashionably nonchalant.
The fourth song is 'You Won't B There' and it is a total fucking surprise. So much so that I want to see them live as it's so much better than the first three that I can't let myself believe it is played by the same band. Why, why, WHY isn't this the first song on the demo please? Because if I worked at a record company and someone threw this on my desk I would never discover this aggressive punky little gem because I wouldn't listen that far! It sounds like early punk, Ramones-like in its cocky delivery and self assured style I just don't understand A) why the other songs don't have this level of energy and swagger and I'll say it again, B) why isn't it number one on the CD?!? BAFFLED! Did all the energy that should have been spread over the demo go into this one song? I sat through 3 bog standard, mid 90's, indie boy tracks and then along came this punk inspired piece of all-round fun. What the...?
If there's one big problem with this demo it's that the songs are way, way too long for music so mediocre. I'm sure the band would find it emotionally destroying to hack up their beloved ditties but they're going to have to because the only reason I listened to them all the way through is because I had to and I forced myself to. Not good. 'You Won't B There' is only 3 minutes long and it is by far the best song on the demo. It made me wanna pogo like me mam did.