If you’ve ever wondered what became of early 2000’s emo/pop-punk and late-stage metalcore as it transitioned into pop infusions (fucking thanks A Day To Remember), not only are you asking a dumb question because EMO ISN’T FUCKING DEAD, but you also need look no further! I present to you (or maybe you already know I don’t particularly give a fuck) Point North out of the world’s favorite cesspool, Los Angeles, CA. Point North is essentially what happens when the excessively tight jeans and gaudy fucking haircuts that we once knew as emo decided it somehow needed to get laid MORE. Thus we have their latest release Brand New Vision for addictive consumption and speculation as to where we’ve come with music and humanity today.
Diving right into the short and curlies here, Point North are essentially another threesome of wanderers on the path of progression from what was once already a very pop-infused style, as it traverses down the rabbit hole that is further pop infusion. In that same rite, Brand New Vision is very much another album shooting for the familiar “progressions” as done by heavier hitters in whatever scene you want to particularly refer this style to. If you dig that reminiscent metalcore composition (particularly the softies and the groovies) without any of the actual heavy aspects, drenched in present-day pop synth, peppered with R&B influenced vocal melodies and early 2000’s scene, then Point North is absolutely for you. You might be thinking, by my sassy cuntery, that I didn’t dig this record or this band, to which you’d absolutely be wrong (given that cuntery is my natural state of living when I’m not snuggling puppies). I genuinely dig what this act goes for and by all intents and purposes, they do it well. That is until you face the hard fact that this take on “scene” music has been beaten to death by this point. This isn’t original anymore. Asking Alexandria pulled it off for one solid record and Dance Gavin Dance have been crushing this shit their entire career, and while I know that some may not find these bands quite as digestible (though this notion could potentially give me hemorrhoids trying to understand), the fact is that no act can safely do what this particular act has been found doing without accusation of conformity. If you don’t particularly give a fuck, then tally ho mother fuckers lets dig into the album a little.
Brand New Vision is genuinely catchy as crabs, playing into the “dirty pleasure” part of your brain like my poutine-a-day diet plays directly into shortening my life span. Opening title track “Brand New Vision” sets an unwavering tone for the remainder of the record that unavoidably screams catchy but already done, much like this point, while featuring a rather pleasant hip hop twist by De’Wayne (*cough* Asking Alexandria self-titled album, track eleven). Flowing forward, we’re met with an industry standard in “Into The Dark,” sporting a tiny bit of aggressivity and a big amount of poppy groove to hook the ears, followed by a sleek jab to the junk in the form of guest vocals from scene familiar Kellin Quinn of Sleeping With Sirens which really gets you going “oh cool you did that thing.” Truly a fun song and a strong opening combo but from this point you really gotta dig to find something that makes you wanna come back to this record, which I particularly found in both “Heartbeat,” with it’s perky hooks and interesting choice of tones, and “Apologue” with its sickening level of attractiveness and replay value (basically me trying to find another way to say its fucking catchy for fear of sounding unoriginal…which seems to be a theme).
The recording quality is top-notch, if not a little overdone (which is also seemingly the industry standard these fucking days), and these tracks tickle your personal kinks like a private trip down your deep dark Pornhub travels on a lonely Wednesday morning. The whole package is smooth and honestly enjoyable, but not necessarily done better than anybody and most definitely not a first in the evolutionary chain that is “scene” today. This record plucks at the heartstrings and interests the part of you that used to really dig what we once knew as emo and pop-punk without being EITHER of those fucking things, but make no mistake, this isn’t necessarily a gatekeeper band. That being said, something needs to make these cats meow a little more uniquely if they’re going to survive amongst the fucking jungle of acts pulling this exact same shit.
Written by Jason Greenberg
*Edited by Dominic Abate