EP REVIEW: Alternative Futures – Northshore

NORTHSHORE formed early 2017, after the members found themselves between projects. It all came from a late-night conversation between Ben Vickers and Adam McQuillan who decided on trying something new after their previous band ended. It was quickly clear, with the addition of Dan Shepherd, Kyle Davies, and Matty Woodhouse, that they were onto something special. Fast forward a few months and their debut EP, Alternative Futures, is due for release.

Read Between The Lines starts proceedings, with the strong, relatable lyric “So many moments trying to work out what went wrong. Was it you? Was it me?” immediately setting the tone for the EP. Love and failed romance is a classic narrative for pop punk, and NORTHSHORE have decided that’s the route for them and it works. Alternating vocals between Ben Vickers and Dan Shepherd really works, adding some depth to the sound whilst ‘woah’ flesh out the chorus.

Better Days, the debut single, instantly pulls you in with a punchy introduction, which carries along through the song with a strong drum beat, and quick vocals. After the fist listen, you’ll be jumping in with the chorus, singing along to the addictive beat. Throughout, the track builds and falls expertly, allowing each members talents to shine through as well as their overall composition skills.

Coming Home certainly tugs at the listener’s emotions with pleading lyrics, “When are you coming home?” and desperation backed up by a slower, gentler rhythm. It shows they have more to offer, varying the tone and style of their songs and breaks the EP up a little bit, before the strong ending. Coming Home is another song that implores the listener to sing along, and would be beautiful to see performed live.

The title track, Alternative Futures has a catchy riff that makes you want to bounce along. They’ve clearly drawn inspiration from current bands like THE MAINE and STATE CHAMPS, lyrically, there’s a hint of A DAY TO REMEMBER in there as well. NORTHSHORE are intimately familiar with the genre, understand what works, and have collated together their favourite bits into a professional sounding EP.

Alternative Futures is short and sweet, with four tracks it gives us a taste of who NORTHSHORE are. They’re not breaking any conventions, or being drastically experimental, but they have created a strong pop punk EP, with relatable lyrics, and a sound that’s accessible and immediately pleasing. Despite being their first release, NORTHSHORE sound professional and extremely cohesive, so that Alternative Futures slots nicely into the existing pop-punk canon. Already, a second release is being discussed so it will be interesting to see what NORTHSHORE produce next, they are one to watch.

Rating: 8/10

Alternative Futures - Northshore

Alternative Futures is out now via Scylla Records.

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