TITLE: FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH
WORDS: JO COSGROVE
Still finding their feet as a new band, forming in 2017, Northshore are joining the growing population of bands who are taking over the United Kingdom with their own take on the pop-rock sound storming the alternative airways. Hailing from northeast England, the four-piece made a mark releasing their debut EP, ‘Alternative Futures’ in 2017 and have been working ever since to perfect the follow-up, ‘For What It’s Worth’.
The record’s themes are all based on real-life and realistic experiences, but not all of them that positive nor enjoyable. The band have the belief, like many others in their industry, that discussing such topics can be helpful for both themselves and their listeners, who may be going through the same or similar. Touching upon mental illness, heartbreak and addiction, Northshore aren’t shying away. They’re taking their art and making it what art truly is: a statement about their lives and their world.
“Northshore aren’t shying away. They’re taking their art and making it what art truly is: a statement about their lives and their world..”
The opening track, ‘Be Heard’, heads into the pop-rock and punk genre they’re aiming for by beginning with a catchy guitar riff, not too dissimilar to the sound one would expect off a 1990s Blink-182 record. The influences are there and alive, sparking, and the vocals aid in building the track up to be more emotional and personal than expected. The lyrics encourages listeners to act upon noticing anyone in distress emotionally or mentally – and this especially includes themselves. Hence the title, ‘Be Heard’: the band speaks out to tell listeners that if they notice someone in need of guidance, to help them; and if they themselves are in need, to seek help. The track is one of a serious topic, yet one that must be discussed – which many other music acts are on board with and in turn have put the message out in their own ways in their own songs.
Setting the scene for the EP, Northshore head on into discussing the likes of addiction in the suitably titled track ‘Dependence’, a song that stands out for the gutiars especially, with rhythm guitarist Kyle Davies and lead guitarist Elliot Parry seeming to project that spark and musical chemistry together that a group needs to create real and authentic music together, bouncing off one another throughotu the track.
The message is greatly important too, with the meanings is more inferred. It’s one that requires thorough thought, and is a subtle nod for those who may be going through such a struggle or have done in the past. Being based on a real and personal experience, it’s a track for the right audience; an audience that wishes to feel less alone and more stable and confident in themselves and in being on the right route to recovery.
“As a second EP, it proves that Northshore are solidifying their stand in this industry slowly and carefully, but surely”
The title track ‘For What It’s Worth’, it takes on a classic pop-rock sound to discuss a trademark topic as old as time in the genre: heartbreak. This is a track that showcases the vocal talent of the lead vocalist, Dan Shepherd. Mixing his usual voice with hints of unclean vocals and fitting falsetto, it’s a good expression of the heartfelt words and personal sentiments.
The song is a reminiscence of a previous relationship and looks back upon it with more pain than fondness, and acts as an ode of apology towards the old love interest from the vocalist. The most notable line is, “For what it’s worth, I’m sorry”, which is repeated throughout the track; particularly near the end as it is one of the last lyrics sung. As the title track, it sums up the atmosphere in a few short minutes of what this EP represents: hardships, emotional pain, and bringing this to attention through an upbeat manner. Something that few alternative outfits can pull off, but what many do attempt.
As a second EP, it proves that Northshore are solidifying their stand in this industry slowly and carefully, but surely. Still learning and adjusting, it is just the beginning of a successful and fulfilling career in music for them. The heads are out of the clouds, and now it’s time to talk and sing.