August 21, 2020 Point North – Brand New Vision (Album Review)
After much anticipation, Alternative Rock band Point North has finally released their debut album, Brand New Vision, under Hopeless Records on August 21, 2020.
For those unfamiliar with the relatively new act, Point North embraces an alternate reality that celebrates a break from predictability and normalcy for a world that is uncomfortable, a world that has meaning, a world in color – a place to feel something. With the goal to create something that evokes a feeling of purpose, Point North have done just this and so much more.
Providing further details, Point North made their bones in the SoCal DIY scene with Andy Hershey on guitar, Sage Weeber on drums, and Vocalist Jon Lundin. Their 2019 EP, Retrograde, gave them the rapid momentum needed to hit the ground running. Most might recognize them from their stint as one of the opening acts on As It Is’ The Great Depression tour alongside Sharptooth.
In creating their debut album, the band wanted something that would represent their musical growth and create a sense of joy. They stated: “If listeners could take anything away from the album, it would be to always find the silver lining, take action instead of remaining inactive and to always choose love over hate. We wanted to bring about a sense of unity with this album. If we can accomplish that in any positive capacity, the album is a success.”
The album was self-produced by Lundin and Point North, putting as much of themselves into the album as they could to deliver something as authentic as possible. This allowed the band to be completely vulnerable and honest, pulling from a multitude of influences from Pop, Hip Hop, Punk and Heavy Metal. Perfectly crafting a unique sound that seamlessly blends anthemic Rock with punchy pop hooks and soulful vocals.
As the title-track kicks things off we are introduced to Point North like we have never seen them before. “Brand New Vision” (featuring Hip Hop artist DE’WAYNE) introduces Drax, the sentient being whose journey will be the focal point of the album, guiding us through this alternate reality created within the fragile world created by the band. It illuminates the landscape, dragging us along to experience its raw energy and optimism while setting the stage for the following acts.
Drax does some soul-searching in the next track, “Into The Dark,” featuring Kellin Quinn of Sleeping With Sirens. The track both encompasses the band’s passion while exposing their most intimate truths and painstaking trials that we face as emotional creatures. In “Personal” and “A Million Pieces” we see a softer side as we experience a story of self-forgiveness and self-love. Meanwhile, one of the lead singles, “Heartbeat,” carries us through the ringer with the discomfort that comes with expressing yourself while holding the weight of the world on your shoulders. The song captures the feeling of screaming into the void to just feel something to shake you to the core.
“Distant” brings doom and gloom to the album while setting us up for the darkness and despair of “No One’s Listening.” Then “Nothing Left To Lose” helps pick up the pieces while providing a glimmer of hope, finishing up with the notion that “We got nothing left to lose, and we got everything to prove.” Ultimately, closing track “Be The Same” drives home Point North’s message of pushing forward despite the odds against you, and the fact that it’s okay to feel discomfort, it’s okay to crave change and to grow, and that you’re not doing it alone.
Brand New Vision creates a space that allows you to be free to feel things and live your truth, no matter how messy it may look. What Point North does best is instill in the listener that it’s okay to want better for yourself and for the world around you, and that you have their unyielding support along your journey. In fact, the band have gone on record to say, “If we can inspire one person to exert some good into this world, we have done our job.”
A job well done, Brand New Vision is a journey that everyone needs to experience. For this, Cryptic Rock gives Brand New Vision 4.5 out of 5 stars.