"Northbound" (Demo)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Northbound were the house band for Monday Night Football with Tom Spence, radio personality from 95.9 FM The Octopus. The band played during half-time and commercial breaks and - as you can imagine - that wasn't the easiest audience to capture. Especially with $1.00 shots after each touchdown.

Regardless, Northbound managed quite well, thank you. The band, whose music is a spirited blend of blues, rock and even a little bit of funk, have a solid, unique style that is powerful enough to hold the headbanger's attention (you should have heard the chants of "Slayer! Slayer! Slayer!" when the Octopus was giving away free tickets to that show) yet mild enough to sooth fans of less potent blues material.

The six songs contained herein are a cross-section of the band's sound, from Joplin-like blues to Hendrix-like rock to even a little bit of reggae. And all of it is delivered with a fresh, modern, not-quite-folk-rock-but-almost sound that keeps it timeless.

The band is also exceptionally tight and talented. The vocals of Jessica DeRouen are uniquely haunting and stylistically all her own. Peter S. Vang is a hell of guitarist, blending styles, sound and speed at will. Drummer Mike Sanchez and bassist Jeromy Thiessen are also essential to the band's overall sound, both delivering power, timing and - when appropriate - delicacy to the music at hand. Hunter Emery also contributes to this CD although I don't believe we've seen him at Monday Night Football. It's important to note, however, that each of the bandmembers has more than one skill (see personnel list below) so some of these talents may intermix. 

Northbound: Jessica DeRouen - vocals and guitar; Peter S. Vang - vocals, guitar, bass, drums; Jeromy Thiessen - bass, vocals, guitar; Mike Sanchez - drums, bass, vocals; Hunter Emery - vocals, percussion.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2001 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 06 Mar 2022 14:38:30 -0500.