28 North’s newest album World on Fire is said to be their breakout album. Well, guys, I absolutely agree with you! Described as the love child (resulting from an imaginary “magical musical orgy”) of Counting Crows, Matchbox Twenty, U2, R.E.M., Oleander, and The Eagles, I’d say it’s very hard to not like 28 North, even if you’re not a fan of any of the band’s “parents.”
Hailing from Pittsburgh but currently residing in Los Angeles, this quartet brings the energy like no other. Labeled “New Classic American Blend with an Ethereal Rockternative Crunch” on their Facebook (and hopefully only on there, that’s a mouthful!), 28 North is incredibly fun and has this album to prove it. With tiny hints of ’80s pop and fantastic beats to boot, World on Fire is easily an album I could listen to on a regular basis. There is not a single song on this album I didn’t like; I give it major kudos.
With ethereal tones and instruments, “Monster” starts with simple sounds before busting out its rock ‘n’ roll and its stunning vocal harmonies. When it comes to music, I’m quite a sucker for a good harmony, and 28 North’s Michael Lindner’s voice blended marvelously with that of his fellow vocalists Tyler Bond and Mark Glinka. It hits the nail right on the head through not only the first track, but the entire album.
The fourth track, “Los Angeles,” is undoubtedly a tribute to the band’s roots in Los Angeles; when you carefully listen to lyrics, you know this to be true. A change of pace, “Los Angeles” is a wonderful downtempo song. However, the following song “Gone” – while the title seems as though it could be a morosefully sung, is surprisingly upbeat and enjoyable. The same can be said of “Trails.”
I was entirely inspired by eighth track “Daddy” on World on Fire. A brief moment in the lyrics of the song – assumingly about a father talking to his child about life or advice from the singer’s father – the phrase “No one gives you nothin’, so kiss yourself” is one that reaches out and slaps you in the face. It is repeated a handful of times in the song. But regardless, it is a track that reminds us that we only have ourselves to rely on and whatever we want in life, we have to reach out and grab it rather than wait for things like “miracles” to happen.
The beautifully calming acoustic song “Call Me Up” that sprouts up towards the end of the album is pure bliss. Despite its ever-so-slight country-ish tones, this dulcet beauty of a song is not nearly long enough in my opinion. I am an incredible fan of the vivacity of the album and could listen to it on repeat, but songs such as “Call Me Up” not only provide a nice break in the album, but also showcases the range of 28 North. This second to last track is a lovely composition and I wanted to hear more from the band at this pace. Fortunately, a function called “replay” is on my side with this one.
Concluding World on Fire, final song “Pride” gives a final shebang worth dancing to. Really, everything on this album is fantastic to dance to. Keep your ears peeled at the beginning of the track for the yell that is insanely reminiscent of Roger Daltrey’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” introduction of the same nature. With enough diversity to maintain the listener’s attentiveness from song to song, 28 North’s World on Fire demonstrates the band’s personal brand of rock ‘n’ roll that I could put on repeat for hours. This is one fire that doesn’t need putting out.
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