May 5, 2005

Test Spin: The Northstar Session

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The Northstar Session is literally the newest thing in music these days, as in, the band formed merely six months ago. The product of immense planning on the part of founder/lead vocalist/guitarist Matt Szlachetka, The Northstar Session hails collectively from San Diego but is comprised of members from all across the country (Szlachetka, himself, is from Maine).

Clearly a first effort, One Way Ticket falls short on occasion, with timing incongruencies evident on several tracks. The songs can be classified as dangling on the precipice of being pleasant, but as a whole lack polish. Szlachetka’s breathy vocalizations allude to the kind of album this is supposed to be, but it’s easy to lose sight of just what exactly that is. Songs like “For You” or “Things Change” drag on for too long without adding variation and end up melding into one continuous unit. I think I literally left the room and came back to hear “Things Change” still stuck on the same “Things chaaaaaaaange” line that had marked my initial departure. The album’s mellow mood sometimes hinders its overall impact but for the most part, these guys just need more practice.

Archived article by Tracy Zhang
Arts and Entertainment Editor