A Northern Chorus
Bitter Hands Resign
Known as a hotbed for quality underground acts, Hamilton is arguably the home of some of the finest musicians in the country. A Northern Chorus, staples in the steel city scene, are renowned as one of the most underrated Canadian bands, but their new album should bring some attention to the veteran rockers. Recorded, produced and mixed by pianist/organist Graham Walsh, Bitter Hands Resign, the band’s third wistful, dreamy masterpiece is exactly what it needs to shine a light upon its musical mastery. ANC has finally emerged from its shell, taking a more passionate intellectual stance than on previous recordings. Vocalists Stu Livingstone, Pete Hall and Alex McMaster weave their respective ways through the band’s epics, providing everything from ample three-part harmonies to thoughtful solo muses, allowing for a more complete aural experience. Musically, A Northern Chorus’s careful, slowcore design tears a page from the book of In-Flight Safety, at times resembling Minnesotan Sub Pop rockers Low, with a touch of Coldplay and electronica-less modern Radiohead for good measure. The album kicks off with the melancholic ballad “The Shepherd and The Chauffeur,” and carefully sifts through eight colourful, weighty tracks, highlighted by the atmospheric “Costa Del Sol.” Concluding with the melodic “Winterize,” the song’s finale epitomizes the album: It begins with a lull and builds to a climax before veering off into a bridge and fading into oblivion. Despite the sparse number of tracks, Bitter Hands Resign clocks in around the 50-minute mark and is a complete musical experience, leaving little to be desired upon its completion.