True to their musical roots in Post Rock, We Were Heading North releases their third album, which is as engaging and inspiring as their previous. With arresting and soaring melodies throughout the album delivered by guitars, bass and drums, the band has given us yet another amazing album. Post Rock is a demanding genre to master, mere good equipment is not enough, the music has to convey passion and emotions to the listeners. And this band knows how to do this both on albums and on stage.
We Were Heading North from Tenerife released their first album in 2016 and their second in 2018. These releases showed that this is a Post Rock band we can count on to keep this genre alive and thriving. With their new album they push their music farther as there is more urgency, more heavy aggression immersed in their music. And these elements contribute to more foreboding soundscapes. And that surely is music to reflect our times.
”A Beginning” is a short first track, like a preface of what is to come, with picking and strumming on clean guitars accompanied by deep rhythmic sound effects in the background. The next track ”Adirondacks” shows a band in full Post Rock bloom. The guitars soar, the bass and drums drive the melodic themes forward. It begins slow with echoing sound-effects, repetitive guitar and then the tremolos rise up from the sonics and glide into high pitched guitar-sounds before it all slows down to a quiet wide-reaching soundscape. The repetitive guitar comes back over darker sonics along with synth synapses flying throughout the music while the high-pitched guitar keeps the mood bright.
The next song, aptly called ”Trace Of Light” contrasts the trepidation from the previous track. It is a jubilant track with catchy melodies. The groove from the bass and the fast drums combined with the melodic theme from the guitar makes it a track you might want to dance to. A distorted guitar ends the track and leads into ”Tell It and Retell It” beginning with disquiet sonics. It is heavier and more aggressive than we are used to from the band. It is as if they say “ok, you´ve had your fun, reality is back and it will probably bite you”. Driven forward by steady repetitive drums it leads into a darker Post Rock soundscape where the high-pitched guitars have to struggle to shimmer through. Then the music falls down to a quiet mid-section where a wide-reaching soundscape serves as a reflection of times past. When the dark sonics come back, the soaring and passionate high-pitched guitar rises up and hovers over, stretching against the light that always is a part of this music.
”Old Cassettes” is a funny title for a very heavy track. Heavy and distorted guitars are driven by a fast rhythm section that soon introduces high pitched guitars with beautiful melodies that climb over the heavy guitars. The track serves as a threshold to the next track ”Ceasefire” that is an impressive diverse and unpredictable Post Rock track. The track is both heavy and aggressive with beautiful parts even with some dissonant guitars in between, and with slow paces and high rises which resonates deeply with the previous tracks. It ends with a dissonant high-pitched guitar over heavy saturated guitars. Every good thing has to come to an end as the last track is aptly called ”An ending”. It is a beautiful floating piece of Post Rock that serves like a reflection over what has been. Without a rhythm section the synths and guitars float in and out of each other creating a contemplating ambience to end the album.
Intentional or not, this album can be seen as a light in the tunnel for what all of us have been through the past two years and at the same time as a warning of what might lie ahead. The duality and ambivalence of our times are reflected through the band´s music. One does not need lyrics to pass that on to the listener when one composes Post Rock the way We Were Heading North does on this release.