Nothern Primitive – Country Homes

There’s something happening in Welland, Ontario, some fountain of youthful talent, diverse and realized. This is frustrated rock and roll, captured straight to tape in a farm close to Niagara Falls: the raw guitar roaring under barely pronounced vocals. A resigned anger rests close to the surface, simmering in expansive observations of a small town and its dead-end satisfactions. But there is a vastness to the sound that counters a sense of rural claustrophobia, an outward reaching mobility to the lyrics that suggest an effort to expand. The lament of “Chariot Drivers” is decidedly uncommitted: a close knowledge of the back roads of your home is only a bad thing when they act as prison bars. The intimacy that traps you is the same thing that makes a place familiar, defines it as your home. This is a record that shakes with agitation and grit, walks the line between staying and leaving.

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