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Album Review: Northerner - The Ridings

  • Written by  Ben Dufton

Cool! Blatantly a band from Yorkshire! It's got to be; maybe it'll be an unheralded treasure, another northern pop genius, like The Research or The Cribs!

That is a transcript of the monologue that ran through my head when I perused the list of offerings sent my way. How wrong I was.

The Ridings' eponymous title track starts not with the thunderous drums or playful guitar I was expecting, but with a primary school synth wash (probably called Moonbeam for those who can imagine such things) which goes nowhere and is supplemented by some echoey A Guy Called Gerald-style guitars and the sound of running water.

The music continues, much in the same vein. There are ethereal synthesiser sounds, treated guitars in spades and that above mentioned all pervading hiss.

There are some good ideas here.  'Lost Logic' builds menacingly, with gentle chiming in the background. Here I can almost picture the Yorkshire Moors; just a bit like watching it on an old portable TV.

Fin's wood-block beating and swooshes brings to mind Four Tet, while the reverb and delay that builds the body of 'Titus' comes crashing down upon itself, its own weight proving too much.

The accompanying press release states that The Ridings creates a sometimes melancholic, always deeply involving listening experience. Unfortunately, the main source of melancholy I found was the poor production values, which subsequently hindered my desire to, well, get involved.

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