The Great Northwest
The Widespread Reign of The Great Northwest
(07.2008, Kora Records)
Verdict = Did The Besnard Lakes just get out-Besnard-Laked?
I’ve kind of been all over the place genre-wise lately with my reviews with the likes of Black Pus being immediately followed by Sawako and then Lullatone. I always wonder what the divide is among FG readers as far as that is concerned. Do some of you tune in just for the sleepy drone stuff, some for the bizarro pop stuff and others for the violently destructive stuff? Either way, I like it all. What does The Great Northwestern have to do with my personal, mostly irrelevant inner questions? Well, aside from being different musical category than the three mentioned above, The Great Northwest is the kind of band that should have appeal to just about anyone. That isn’t to say that there is anything remotely violent, overtly pop or intensely droney about the music, it’s just that good. In fact, it appears that The Great Northwest may know this themselves considering the title to their debut record, The Widespread Reign of The Great Northwest. The band follows in line of similarly nuanced slow-core indie bands like The Besnard Lakes, Sun Kil Moon or label mates Gregor Samsa. So, while they aren’t breaking any particularly new ground among their colleagues, The Great Northwest is making that particular brand of lush, syrupy, slow rock better than the anyone else right now (providing a healthy dethroning of Mr. Kozelek). The production is part of what elevates The Widespread Reign above the rest of the crowd. The sound produced here is luxurious. That sound coupled with some gorgeously arranged, perfectly paced songs and what you have, my friend, is an absolutely delicious album to spin while letting the fire die down at the end of the night. Simply majestic.
The Great Northwest on Myspace