Northstar - Broken Parachute
Record Label: Speak Music Media
Release Date: January 8, 2008
"So tell me why I break in pieces for hopeless reasons
Stereo therapy heals my lesions
Do you know what it's like to hurt at night for oh no reason?
Do you know what its like?"
While it isn't a full length album or anything we haven't heard before (for the most part), hearing that Northstar were releasing any kind of music again made me really excited. I've been a Northstar fan for about four years now, and each time I listen to their music I am overcome with an amazing feeling. It brings me back to the days where I was still forming a musical taste. It's sort of my anthem, the music that defines me. They're the band that never leaves me, that never will. I think most people who find a band they love will admit it is so hard to explain what kind of impact a certain kind of music has on them. There are just some bands that will be with us forever, even if they disappear from the scene. Those are the bands that, no matter what, will never be forgotten.
The Broken Parachute EP contains nine b-side tracks, six of which are re-releases; it also contains two new versions of "Broken Parachute." The first is an alternate version of the song. It has a better quality of sound and the vocals are much cleaner than the original. The second is a demo version that was not originally on the EP until vocalist/guitarist Nick Torres found it by accident while looking through some of his old tapes. It's part of a three song demo that is dated pre-Is This Thing Loaded? The other two songs on that demo, "Is This Thing Loaded?" and "Taker Not a Giver," are on this EP as well.
Perhaps my favorite parts of this EP are the acoustic versions of two of my favorite Northstar songs: "For Members Only" and "My Ricochet." These alternate versions were available on Northstar's Myspace account as well as Speak Music Media's Myspace account before the release of the EP, so I was already familiar with them. However, hearing them together with the other b-sides on a finished product makes them even better. In my opinion, the acoustic version of "My Ricochet" is one of the most beautiful songs the band has ever recorded. If I had listened to the acoustic version before the album version, I would probably have swore that the acoustic is the original. It gives off a certain acoustic vibe as if it was meant to be performed that way. This version of "For Members Only" is also great. It's slower with softer vocals - a totally different approach to one of the band's most well known songs.
Two wonderful surprises for me were the instrumental tracks "Black Heart Valentine" and "Piano Jam." While neither song contains vocals, they are excellent additions to the Northstar library of songs and are something different from what Northstar fans are used to. The EP also contains a excellent cover of the song "Chesterfield King" which was originally recorded by the band Jawbreaker on their 1992 album Bivouac.
Whether you are a casual fan trying out a new band a little too late or a die-hard fan looking to complete your Northstar catalog, this is a must have EP.
"I think most people who find a band they love will admit it is so hard to explain what kind of impact a certain kind of music has on them. There are just some bands that will be with us forever, even if they disappear from the scene. Those are the bands that, no matter what, will never be forgotten."
northstar is definitely a band that will never be forgotten. they were one of the first bands that helped define my taste in music. songs like two zero two, the pornographers daughter, between horns and halos, digital me, and american living will always remind me of the reason i fell in love with music in the first place. northstar, straylight run, starting line, tai, and tbs will always be #1 in my book. haha