“That’s definitely my bread and butter!” is the first thing I thought as soon as I pushed play on the stereo, turning, in just a few seconds, my house into a small concert hall and the sofa in a warm and cozy stage on which to shake my moneymaker!
Naked EP by the American Lord North is a slap in the face for all those rock’n’roll wannabes who, with a guitar in the hand and hair tousled, celebrate themselves as the new discoveries of rock. Rock and roll is dead, and only those who play the real rock’n’roll can realize it. The good old “five strings, three chords, two fingers, one asshole” no longer takes the mainstream and maybe this is due to the improper use of the term “rock’n’roll” to appear more cool, to describe what it is not, to boast of such a degree that only a few can gain on the battlefield. From the first notes Naked immediately brings to mind a great album released in 2005, by one of the best bands of the genre, the Swedish band The Hellacopters. The album, Rock’n’Roll Is Dead, to be exact, started with a great song, “Before the Fall”, which used the same intro riff of “Roll Over Beethoven” by Chuck Berry (who else but the true King of Rock’n’Roll), confirming once again that rock’n’roll was dead, but only for those who wanted him dead.
Similarly, the North Lord EP opens with a huge piece of style, fast, direct, engaging, dirty, noisy and sweaty, “Six Gun Hands,” blunt lyrics sang with the perfect attitude; one that requires a bit of boredom, a bit’ pissed off, but without going too fussy (I also love the old rock cliché of a recording which continues for a few seconds after the end of the track). So, also the second track, “Sussex Blues”, dirty and saturated, reminds me of great pieces of modern music by Jon Spencer or Jack White, so garage-rock soaked that only a band that has seen a lot of dust and mold in some old basement used as a rehearsal room can birth. Feedback due to the eardrum splitting volume, voice so saturated it is brought even to distortion, stone-breaking guitars seemingly the hammer of Mars, the god of war and weapons, who forged the strongest swords for his warriors through the hammer. Like a hammer forging still glowing metal, the Lord North molds, one after another, great songs, beautifully designed and built with a structure so solid that, in its simplicity, it can demolish the walls of any concert hall. Now take everything I wrote above and “copy/paste”. Now you have the perfect description of the third track, “My Name is Shame”, in which the electric guitar really cries its heart out in a bloody solo àla Gary Moore, which is the perfect counterpoint to the vocals, so confident, cool, mocking.
And, the cherry on my music pie “I’m So Over It.” It is a great acoustic piece of country/rock that seems to say “if you are cool, if you play rock and roll, if you know how to run a song, you can do with an acoustic guitar, a snare and a mandolin.” How can you blame it? The Lord North, with their four song EP Naked, prove to be able to hold their own, whether on a stage in front of a huge audience or at a party based on beer, beautiful girls and friends, with just a couple of guitars and the right attitude. And that is what makes a real difference.
You know, “it’s only rock’n’roll but I like it, like it, yes I do!”
Is honesty really the best policy?
I think so; I’m just making sure we agree.
For Oklahoma Rockers Lord North, they are nothing but honest. Their sound bleeds honesty. It is gritty, raw, slurring Okie rock in an authentically pure form.
They are a fundamental foursome which doesn’t shine within glam, frills or over-the-top theatrics; they harness the dirty side of rock with electrifying passion. Their Naked EP is four tracks of “This is what we got, like it or leave” rock. And I have to say, I like…I like a lot.
Lead vocalist Joey Todd, guitarist Chris Hendrik, bassist Derry Todd and drummer Alex Carlock play with their entire being on each and every track. Their music is an expression of themselves. Now I realize how strange or seemingly obvious it is to say something like that about music, but for Lord North, you can feel the sweat and energy in each track. They play the fine line between Punk and Rock in the opening track “Six Gun Hands”. The fast-paced opener will have you looking one direction while they side-swipe you with the remaining three. “Sussex Blues” delivers a very Mad Caps-like track packed with driving beats and swaggering vocals. Naked comes to an apex on “My Name is Shame.” The bluesy distorted track breathes a smoky joint-jam. The dimly lit song is one by which a band can be labeled. It seethes passion and originality. For a four song EP, Lord North delivers a diverse punch. They cap the release off with “I’m So Over It,” which will have you double checking which band you’re listening to. The light, almost country, track will have you scratching your head before you lean back, sigh, and appreciate the level of diversity these gents can reach. The rock/punk meets country track plays to a great balance and ends everything on a light note.
Vicious rock solos with dynamic rhythm and very capable vocals make up the back bone of Oklahoma’s Lord North; though this is just the center of their sound. The body is filled is passion, vision and a swinging rhythm. Hendrick, Carlock and the Todds are honest; perhaps overly honest. To which I say, is not a bad thing. This policy will keep them true. True to themselves, their music and the sound of which I am quickly becoming a fan.